National Report Summary: Priorities for childrens learning in early childhood services and good practice

Priorities for Children’s Learning in ECEs: Good Practice (November 2013)

This good practice report presents examples from five early childhood services where priorities for children’s learning were well considered and reflected on.

The five services were part of a national evaluation that ERO undertook in 2012 about curriculum priorities. They were subsequently chosen to feature in this good practice report.

Their priorities were clear, reflected the context and philosophy of each service, and were strongly influenced by the principles and strands of Te Whāriki. In addition, parents and whānau views influenced the priorities for their children’s learning.

The services include a Pacific early childhood service, a Māori immersion centre, a kindergarten, a Playcentre, and an education and care service.

Complementary reports

This report complements two reports published in May 2013 - Priorities for Children’s Learning in Early Childhood Services and Working with Te Whāriki.

What does each service’s example cover?

Each example highlights, for each service:

  • the priorities that teachers have identified for the children
  • how their teaching practices reflected these priorities
  • how their assessment practices reflected these priorities
  • how their priorities were evident in their curriculum and self review.

Aligning practices within services

The priorities for children’s learning in these services informed curriculum design, teaching practice, assessment practice, and self review. Identified priorities were strongly reflected in each service’s curriculum, giving teachers a clear direction for teaching and learning.

Teaching practices

This report also looks at the teaching practices at these five services. They include effective:

  • questioning of children
  • modelling of conversations and desired behaviours
  • integration of literacy and numeracy learning into meaningful experiences
  • support and extension of children’s learning
  • strengthening of links with family and home life.

Assessment practice in services

The report found that priorities for children’s learning informed assessment practice in these five services. Assessment records had a strong focus on children’s knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions. Each child’s progress and next learning steps, as well as continuity of learning, were evident in assessment records. The children’s new learning was clear to parents, whānau and children.

Self review by services

The services’ self review was well integrated into practices. It informed, and was informed by, priorities for children’s learning. Positive changes that occurred as a result of self review included changes to the curriculum, ways of working with Te Whāriki, teaching and assessment practices, and the learning environment.