Belmont Bayswater Kindergarten - 14/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Belmont Bayswater Kindergarten

How well placed is Belmont Bayswater 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

Belmont Bayswater Kindergarten is a well established service that now provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. The kindergarten has operated the kindergarten six-hour day model (KDM) since 2015. The roll includes a small number of Māori and Chinese children. Children are mainly over the age of three years and eight months by the time they enrol at the kindergarten.

As a result of KDM hours, staffing changed from 45 children and three qualified teachers to 40 children and four teachers. The experienced head teacher leads the teaching team well. Teachers work collaboratively and have built strong relationships with children, their whānau and the community.

The kindergarten's philosophy continues to place importance on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and Te Tiriti o Waitangi as guiding documents that underpin learning programmes for children. The philosophy also emphasises the importance of promoting child initiated play, the emergent curriculum, and children's passions and interests.

In 2014 ERO identified many positive features that continue to be evident. These include inclusive practices, many opportunities for children to learn about literacy, numeracy and science, and strong relationships with parents, whānau and the community. Good progress has been made in improving assessment processes, teacher reflection and bicultural practices in the kindergarten.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, independent learners. They competently settle themselves in play areas and make deliberate choices about the resources they need. Many persist at activities and are engaged in learning for prolonged periods. Children are friendly and caring towards their peers, often working cooperatively in groups. They have a strong sense of belonging.

Teachers skilfully engage children in play that prompts them to collaborate and investigate ideas. They ask questions and give good explanations to facilitate learning and conversations with children. Children with English as a second language are well supported, especially through the strong literacy focus. Children with additional needs are well supported individually to maximise learning opportunities. In this focused, calm setting children enjoy stories and books, use early literacy skills for real purposes and are developing a deep appreciation for environmental sustainability and Te Ao Māori.

Teachers have engaged in professional learning and development focused on bicultural practices. They have also identified Māori concepts to underpin learning and localise te reo and tikanga within the curriculum. Teachers access external expertise to share specialist knowledge and strengths and to enrich children's learning experiences.

Teachers are responsive to children's interests. Teachers have made very good progress in making learning more visible for parents and children. Programme planning has been focused on supporting and developing children in connected ways and through authentic learning experiences. Teachers appreciate the positive impact that the KDM model has had on settling children, strengthening relationships and continuity of their learning. Teachers are continuing to enhance programme planning and assessment practices.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. They have many opportunities to participate in the programme, contribute to reviews and be aware of their children’s progress. Children's learning is also shared with parents through wall displays and the online assessment tool. Teachers are continuing to enhance programme planning and assessment practices.

The head teacher has a collaborative and inclusive leadership style. The team is cohesive and passionate. Teachers are reflective practitioners and use their strengths and interests to show leadership in the curriculum and kindergarten as a whole. There is a strong focus on building professional practice. Appraisal goals link to strategic priorities and are well aligned to the Education Council requirements. Teachers use a well established framework to guide internal evaluation and this is focused on positive outcomes for children.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation.

Key Next Steps

Teachers agree that key next steps for development include:

  • engaging in external professional development to extend the ways that they challenge children's thinking and support them to engage in more complex play

  • specifying children’s learning outcomes and the teaching strategies that will be used in planning and evaluation

  • developing a more systematic approach to internal evaluation and embedding effective practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Belmont Bayswater 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 Belmont Bayswater Kindergarten will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 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

Bayswater, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5032

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over two years of age

Service roll

59

Gender composition

Boys 34, Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
other

7
36
4
2
10

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

14 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

July 2011

Education Review

July 2008

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.