Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road

Education institution number:
5628
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
59
Telephone:
Address:

146 Hawthornden Road, Avonhead, Christchurch

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Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road - 21/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road

How well placed is Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road is one of 71 early learning services governed and managed by Canterbury Westland Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

The kindergarten caters for the education and care of children, aged between two and five years old, from the increasingly diverse community that it serves.

There have been some recent significant changes to leadership and to the teaching team. A new education service manager (ESM) and acting head teacher were appointed in Term 3 2016. An experienced relieving teacher was also appointed. All teachers are fully qualified and certified in early childhood education. The association and ESM provide consistent professional support to ensure the effective operation of the service.

Leaders and teachers have made some progress in meeting the recommendations outlined in the 2012 ERO report. This includes the development of more child-focused routines, refining programme planning, and building a team approach to self review. The teaching team is implementing a new vision for the kindergarten which is centred on providing a calm and peaceful learning environment for children.

The teaching team has made purposeful links to the local learning cluster of other early learning services and schools to help children in their community make a positive transition to school.

This review was part of a cluster of nine kindergartens governed and managed by the Canterbury Westland Kidsfirst Free Kindergartens Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten is well supported by a responsive parent community who are actively involved in the life of the kindergarten. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed and encouraged to spend time in the programme with their own and other children. Teachers highly value parent and whānau contributions and the support they receive from the kindergarten's community.

Teachers foster positive, reciprocal relationships with children and families within an inclusive learning environment. The culture of each family is acknowledged and valued. Teachers work with children and families in respectful ways. Children’s first languages are affirmed and celebrated.

Teachers are committed to providing and developing practices that help children to experience the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand in ways that are respectful of the Māori culture.

The child-led curriculum is increasingly focused on unhurried interactions between teachers and children. Teachers listen carefully to children and allow uninterrupted time for children to make choices and express and develop ideas. The recent innovative use of technologies inspires children's creativity, imagination and dramatic play. These experiences and deliberate acts of teaching support the development of children's oral language, creative thinking and decision-making skills.

Teachers thoughtfully present a wide variety of learning experiences that provoke children's curiosity and encourage exploration. Children have many opportunities to learn about the natural world and be involved in physical challenges in a spacious outdoor area. Literacy and numeracy are integrated in ways that are meaningful for children.

Children play independently alongside others and in small groups for sustained lengths of time. Teachers are involved in children's play encouraging social relationships, friendships and learning.

Parents are well informed of children’s learning interests and participation in the programme through attractively-presented, informative wall displays and individual profile books.

A comprehensive systematic internal evaluation process focuses on improving children’s learning opportunities and teaching practices. The ESM is building new leadership capacity, teachers' reflective practices and internal evaluation capability.

The Canterbury Westland Free Kindergarten Association is well supported by an experienced, professional board. The association has a well-understood vision and targeted strategic and annual planning systems. There are close links between the kindergarten plans, internal evaluation, appraisal and professional development. Teachers are well supported by association managers and leaders to achieve the priorities of the association, and their own kindergarten objectives and vision to provide high quality learning outcomes for all children.

The association has a very strong commitment to providing high quality professional development to build on leadership capacity and teacher capability. It has high expectations for teaching and learning and equitable outcomes for all children. This includes the appointment of a kaitautoko to further promote a strong focus Tiriti aspirations at all levels of the organisation.

The Canterbury Westland Free Kindergarten Association is innovative in its approaches and regularly seeks opportunities to be involved in wider educational and local communities to promote high quality learning outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

The education service manager and ERO agree that the key next steps are to continue to develop recent initiatives to support the teaching team to fully realise the kindergarten vision. This includes:

  • consolidating new processes and practices for internal evaluation and programme planning

  • building on assessment practices to add depth to teaching and learning

  • continuing to strengthen bicultural perspectives and practices

  • fully implementing and embedding new appraisal processes.

The chief executive has identified and ERO’s evaluation has confirmed, that the key next step for the association is to continue to its property improvement long-term plan, ensuring that enhancements to its buildings reflect the changing needs of its communities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road 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 Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer, Southern - Te Waipounamu

21 March 2017

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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

5628

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over the age of two years old

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Boys 23; Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

6

26

13

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

21 March 2017

Most recent ERO reports

 

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

September 2008

Education Review

March 2005

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.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road - 26/05/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road operates between 8.30 am and 2.30 pm. It provides care and education for children over the age of two.

Children come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and for some English is their second language. All teachers at the Kindergarten are fully registered and early childhood trained.

The kindergarten is one of 62 kindergartens (including one early learning centre) administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

This review occurred at a time when the association and its kindergartens were responding to issues associated with the Canterbury earthquakes. They have been proactive in addressing these challenges.

Since the centre’s last ERO review in September 2008 the head teacher and teachers have continued to work on further developing aspects of the kindergarten’s programmes and practices. This has resulted in ongoing improvements to the quality of education and care for children.

Features of this kindergarten include:

  • the extensive range of learning experiences provided for children
  • the degree to which the programme is based on children’s interests
  • the extent to which children are involved in sustained creative play
  • the quality of the kindergarten environment and facilities, along with children’s ready access to a wide variety of resources
  • the good use made of aspects of children’s assessment information and self-review findings to help improve programmes and practices.

The kindergarten’s education service manager and ERO agree that the next steps to further improve outcomes for children include:

  • reviewing the purpose and effectiveness of formal group teaching sessions
  • continuing to improve aspects of planning and assessment.

Leadership and management practices help to foster team work and collaboration.

The kindergarten actively promotes good relationships with parents/caregivers and whānau and this helps to foster a sense of partnership.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the kindergarten is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the kindergarten to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the kindergarten (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the kindergarten’s last ERO review in 2008 the head teacher and teachers have continued to work on improving aspects of the kindergarten’s programmes and practices.

Areas of strength
Learning experiences

The kindergarten’s programme provides children with an extensive range of learning opportunities. Features of the programme include:

  • the extent to which children can be creative and follow their interests
  • the wide range of activities children are able to choose from
  • the good opportunities children have to either play on their own or with others
  • the adaptations made to the programme in response to children’s emerging needs.

Children come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Aspects of their cultures are appropriately integrated into the kindergarten’s programme.

Reviewers observed children initiating and involving themselves in creative play for prolonged periods. Children played well, both independently and with their peers.

Aspects of teaching

ERO observed teachers using a range of effective teaching practices. These included:

  • the way teachers often took part and supported children in their play
  • informal conversations with children that supported their language development, problem solving skills and independence
  • teachers’ responsiveness to children’s interests and ideas.

Teachers interacted with children in ways that helped foster their confidence and sense of well-being.

Informative and well-presented children’s portfolios help to record and report their success, acknowledge and affirm their progress and often identified possible next steps in their learning and development.

Learning Environment

Teachers provide children with a positive, supportive environment.

Reviewers observed many instances of:

  • teachers responding well to children’s immediate needs
  • respectful, supportive relationships between teachers and children and among children
  • children playing cooperatively and at times solving issues with their peers independently.

The kindergarten provides children with a spacious, well presented and interesting indoor and outdoor environment.

Children have ready access to a wide range of activities and resources that often help to stimulate their interests, provide them with a wide range of choices and help support their engagement in creative play.

Relationships with parents, caregivers and whānau

ERO observed positive interactions between teachers and parents/caregivers and whānau.

Teachers have been proactive in reviewing and developing practices that promote a sense of partnership with parents. These include:

  • taking time to establish and build relationships that foster a sense of partnership
  • using the information parents share to make links between children’s life at home and the kindergarten programme
  • involving parents, their interests and skills, in aspects of the programme
  • actively involving parents in contributing to children’s learning portfolios
  • being responsive to the personal circumstances and needs of parents/whānau.

Areas for development and review

Group Times

Reviewers observed children being less effectively involved in learning in some formal group activities than in other aspects of the centre’s programme. This was partly a result of the restricted range of teaching practices used during some of these group times.

The head teacher and teachers should review the purpose of group times, the range of teaching practices used and children’s level of engagement in these activities. It would be useful to consider what elements of these group sessions could be better integrated into less formal aspects of the programme.

Planning and assessment practices

Teachers have established some useful planning and reflective practices. ERO agrees with the current emphasis they are giving to improving aspects of their longer term programme planning.

Particular consideration should be given to:

  • clarifying what counts as effective programme planning and evaluation
  • how to better use some of the information teachers gain from their assessments of individual children into the programme plans.

Wider use of some of the very good assessment practices in most portfolios would help to develop greater consistency in the quality of these practices.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the Centre

Type

All Day, Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children

Roll number

55

Gender composition

Girls 32 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European /Pākehā 32;

Maori 1;

Samoan 2;

Asian 12;

European 6;

Other Ethnicities 2

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

4 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review September 2008

Education Review March 2005

Accountability Review June 2000

4 May 2012

To the Parents and Community of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hawthornden Road operates between 8.30 am and 2.30 pm. It provides care and education for children over the age of two.

Children come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and for some English is their second language. All teachers at the Kindergarten are fully registered and early childhood trained.

The kindergarten is one of 62 kindergartens (including one early learning centre) administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

This review occurred at a time when the association and its kindergartens were responding to issues associated with the Canterbury earthquakes. They have been proactive in addressing these challenges.

Since the centre’s last ERO review in September 2008 the head teacher and teachers have continued to work on further developing aspects of the kindergarten’s programmes and practices. This has resulted in ongoing improvements to the quality of education and care for children.

Features of this kindergarten include:

  • the extensive range of learning experiences provided for children
  • the degree to which the programme is based on children’s interests
  • the extent to which children are involved in sustained creative play
  • the quality of the kindergarten environment and facilities, along with children’s ready access to a wide variety of resources
  • the good use made of aspects of children’s assessment information and self-review findings to help improve programmes and practices.

The kindergarten’s education service manager and ERO agree that the next steps to further improve outcomes for children include:

  • reviewing the purpose and effectiveness of formal group teaching sessions
  • continuing to improve aspects of planning and assessment.

Leadership and management practices help to foster team work and collaboration.

The kindergarten actively promotes good relationships with parents/caregivers and whānau and this helps to foster a sense of partnership.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the kindergarten is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.