Rockdale Park Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5626
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
24
Telephone:
Address:

18 Farrar Street, Invercargill

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1 Evaluation of Rockdale Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Rockdale Park Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rockdale Park Kindergarten is Very Well Placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Rockdale Park Kindergarten provides early childhood education for children over two years of age. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 37 children. Children participate in half or whole-day learning programmes running from 8.30am to 2.30pm. The-day-to day operation of the kindergarten is managed by a head teacher and supported by two qualified early childhood teachers.

The philosophy of the kindergarten states that children will 'develop a strong sense of mana, wonder, curiosity, creativity and become confident, competent explorers, problem solvers, decision makers and creators so they can explore and question their world safely and confidently'.

Rockdale Park Kindergarten is one of 23 kindergartens administered by Kindergartens South (KS). A general manager oversees each kindergarten within the association under the governance of a board. Senior teachers provide ongoing professional advice, guidance and support to each kindergarten for teaching and learning.

The kindergarten has sustained the highly effective practices noted in ERO's 2013 report. The team has continued to sustain very good progress with curriculum assessment, planning and evaluation practices, teacher appraisal and internal evaluation systems and practices.

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in Kindergartens South.

The Review Findings

Children at Rockdale Park Kindergarten are very well supported in their learning. Effective leadership, a rich and culturally responsive programme and intentional teaching practices are promoting positive outcomes for children's learning.

There are strong learning partnerships with parents/whānau and the community. Parent engagement is actively sought and highly valued. Strong connections and relationships within the wider community support and make highly visible children's learning. Parents are kept very well informed about their child's learning and development. Teachers value parents' views and seek their contributions to continually improve outcomes for children's learning and to improve kindergarten practices.

Children's learning is well documented, displayed and shared. They are supported to be confident, competent, respectful and inclusive of others. Children are highly engaged in complex and creative learning situations for long periods of time. They have many opportunities to work together to achieve their chosen tasks. Children enjoy playing alone or alongside others in the attractively presented, very well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments.

Teachers challenge, provoke and take deliberate action with high expectations for all children to be successful. They use a wide range of relevant and intentional teaching strategies to support children's learning, development and wellbeing. They integrate early literacy and mathematics learning into the programme well. Teachers listen carefully to the verbal and non-verbal cues of children and respond appropriately to extend language learning and ideas in meaningful ways.

Transitions into and from the kindergarten are very well managed and appropriately meet the needs of children and their families/whānau. Teachers deliberately provide opportunities for children to be independent and to develop social and emotional competence. This is integrated into the learning programme to support children to make a positive transition to school.

The curriculum is well designed and implemented. It is strongly focused on children's rights, interests and growing complexity of learning. The learning environment is challenging, focused, well thought out, and clearly shows the learning that matters in the kindergarten.

The curriculum reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. This enables children, and especially Māori children, to understand the significance of Māori as tangata whenua through the inclusion of te reo and te ao Māori world views. There are authentic partnerships with whānau Māori and a genuine commitment from teachers to strengthen and improve their own bicultural practices.

There are very strong leadership practices in the kindergarten. The head teacher and teachers work as a cohesive team. They deeply inquire into aspects of their practice to bring about improvements for the benefit of children. Teachers use internal evaluation processes well to know what is working well and what needs further development. Action plans are used to ensure ongoing improvements are well monitored.

Since ERO’s 2017 reviews of kindergartens there have been significant changes within the association management and leadership team. Many of the good practices in place to support the kindergartens have been sustained. However ERO found that the board needs better information to know how well kindergartens are improving outcomes for children. The board also needs to review its own performance and review the roles and responsibilities within the association leadership and management team.

Key Next Steps

The association and board have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • further develop the vision, values, philosophy and goals to better reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and te ao Māori perspectives

  • ensure reporting and monitoring at all levels is evaluative and shows how outcomes for children have been improved, especially for priority learners and in relation to the association’s valued outcomes, vision and philosophy

  • ensure there is a clear process for consulting with all parents and whānau Māori within the association

  • monitor the effectiveness of new initiatives

  • review the roles and responsibilities of leadership positions within the association and review the performance and effectiveness of the board

  • review and update the complaints policy and procedure.

Teachers at the kindergarten have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next step to further improve outcomes for children is to:

  • refine aspects of internal evaluation: the scope of evaluations needs to be simplified to provide more clarity and place a greater emphasis on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rockdale Park Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum

  • premises and facilities

  • health and safety practices

  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rockdale Park Kindergarten will be in four years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern Southern Region

31 January 2019

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5626

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Girls: 17

Boys: 16

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific

11
20
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

31 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2013

Education Review

September 2010

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years

  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years

  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years

  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’swebsite.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

1 Evaluation of Rockdale Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Rockdale Park Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Rockdale Park Kindergarten is licensed for 37 children. Currently there are 39 children attending all-day, morning or afternoon sessions. Children come from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds.

There is an expectation that children and their families’ backgrounds will be respected and highly visible in the environment. Children play in an attractive and well-resourced environment. They show a strong sense of belonging to their kindergarten.

The kindergarten philosophy and vision aims to support children to develop a sense of belonging through respectful relationships. Children are to be seen as competent and capable learners. Teachers support children to become explorers, problem solvers, decision makers and creators.

The kindergarten has made very good progress in addressing the areas for review and development identified in the 2010 ERO report.

This review was part of a cluster of 23 reviews in the Southland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Teachers understand and demonstrate the importance of having meaningful relationships with children and their families. They are supportive, affirming and caring of the children and work in partnership with the parents. ERO observed thoughtful relationships between the children. They are helpful and cooperate with each other.

Adults and children interact with each other respectfully. Teachers know the children well. This knowledge helps them know to when to interact and when to stand back and allow children to continue with their play, conversations and learning. Teachers effectively build children’s sense of responsibility and self-management skills through a range of useful approaches.

Teachers have carefully created an environment where parents feel welcome and comfortable to stay and be involved in their children’s learning. They use effective methods to gather parent’s views and ideas. These views and ideas are valued and included in the vision, curriculum and learning programmes where appropriate.

Children benefit from a very child-centred curriculum. Key features of the curriculum are:

  • developing children’s social competencies and preferred ways of learning
  • the purposeful links between relevant Ministry of Education documents including Te Whāriki, The New Zealand Curriculum and He Reo Tupu, Te Reo Ora
  • the way Māori perspectives are an important part of the kindergarten protocols and children’s learning
  • the meaningful links teachers make between prior and new learning
  • the authentic inclusion of literacy and mathematics in the programme.

Teachers have introduced several innovative programmes to respond to the children’s identified needs.

The interests of children, parents and teachers initiate many learning experiences. Teachers have effective planning and assessment processes. These include:

  • systematically ensuring that all children’s learning is planned for and regularly assessed
  • regularly gathering the parents’ aspirations for their child
  • using parent and teacher information when planning for the child’s future learning.

The teachers’ next step is to enhance these systems by being more consistent in evaluating the impact on children’s learning.

The head teacher provides strong leadership and has established a culture of ongoing improvement.

Teachers reflect on their practices. The way self review is to be carried out is clearly documented. To improve self review teachers should further develop their understanding of the difference between reviewing progress and developing practices.

The clear alignment between the kindergarten philosophy, vision, strategic and action planning, and children’s learning sustains the current level of high performance.

The Kindergarten South governors consulted widely when developing the vision and goals that guide the long- term direction of the association. They have high expectations that the association and each kindergarten will:

  • involve the community
  • provide natural learning environments
  • do what is best for children
  • be a good employer.

The association is committed to transforming each kindergarten’s outdoor play area. Children now play and learn in attractive and natural environments.

Governors and staff have a clear understanding of the roles of governance and management in the association. They have developed a useful policy framework and guidelines that support the day-to-day and long-term operation of the kindergartens.

The advisory support teachers provide useful feedback and guidance to staff and endorse the high expectations set by the board of governors. Lindisfarne Kindergarten benefits from strong ongoing support from the general manager and other association staff.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rockdale Park Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum

  • premises and facilities

  • health and safety practices

  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rockdale Park Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

20 December 2013

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5626

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged two years and over

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys: 20 Girls: 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnicities

9

26

4

Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

20 December 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

September 2010

 

Education Review

April 2007

 

Education Review

October 2004

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.