Brockville Kindergarten - 25/06/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Brockville Kindergarten is a community-based service located next to Brockville Primary School. It is one of 22 kindergartens administered under the umbrella of Dunedin Kindergartens (DK). The service caters for children from aged two years until they go to school. It is open for six hours each day.

The teachers at the kindergarten are a new team. They and the children and parents are welcoming and friendly and enjoy each other’s company. Teachers focus on promoting children’s social skills and on creating a respectful, caring environment for learning. They have built positive relationships with families, the local schools and the community. The children attending the kindergarten are motivated to learn.

The teachers work skilfully with the children during the programme. They integrate learning into the conversations they have with children. Children are responded to in ways that suit their individual personality and learning requirements. The teachers have been working on how they record the learning that occurs for children through their experiences at the kindergarten. The learning stories show children’s progress over time. They show that learning is well supported through the kindergarten resources, a range of activities and the conversations the children have with their teachers. The teachers reflect on their practices and the programme and are developing their vision for the service.

Teachers have identified aspects of the learning programme and their teaching practices that need development. They have begun self-review processes which are helping to identify what is working well and where changes are needed. Now that the third member of the teaching team has been appointed they plan to review their kindergarten philosophy. They have begun to build on bicultural practices and to better integrate Māori perspectives into the programme.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, ERO used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The priorities for review were then determined. These focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Brockville Kindergarten.

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

There has been a change in staff since ERO’s previous visit in June 2008. The appointment of the third permanent teacher occurred a week prior to ERO’s visit. The head teacher had delayed the review of some practices until the final member of the teaching team had been appointed.

Areas of strength

Children and their families benefit from the positive, affirming relationships they have with the teachers. The teachers’ interactions with children and their families are supportive and respectful. Children appear to have a strong sense of belonging to their kindergarten community. They are motivated to be involved and excited about spending time with their friends and the teachers. ERO saw children working cooperatively and with consideration for others. The children’s social skills are developing well. They are familiar with the centre’s routines and the expectations the teachers have for their behaviour.

Other features of the kindergarten that contribute to children’s well-being and learning include the way the teachers:

  • adjust their responses to children so that they are appropriate to the needs of the individual
  • communicate with each other about children and how the programme might better meet their needs
  • present the resources to encourage children’s independence
  • use the conversations they have with the children and their families to build on children’s learning.

Areas for development and review

The teachers are aware of what they need to do next to enhance children’s learning and improve their practice. Now that the third teacher has been appointed they are beginning to take their next steps. ERO agree the next steps include:

  • reviewing the centre’s philosophy and developing a shared understanding of the kindergarten’s priorities for learning
  • collecting and using information from parents about children’s strengths and interests and what their aspirations are for their child’s further learning
  • bicultural practices, te reo Māori and the integration of Māori perspectives in the learning programme
  • further development of systems to ensure all children experience learning across a range of curriculum areas.

The teachers have made good use of self review to inform their practice. As they develop the process it has deepened in complexity and resulted in some positive improvements to benefit children. The quality of self review would be enhanced through the use of indicators to review and evaluate against. A self-review schedule needs to be developed. This will help ensure all aspects of learning and teaching are reviewed regularly over time. Teachers should review planning and assessment documentation to ensure that the learning is evident and to make more visible how the teacher has contributed to this.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Brockville Kindergarten 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.

In order to improve current practice the managers should continue to investigate and then implement improvements to the nappy changing area and how they provide for children needing to sleep during their time at the kindergarten.

4. Future Action

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

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

25 June 2012

 

About the Centre

Type

Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2

Roll number

38

Gender composition

Boys 21

Girls 17

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 21

Māori 11

Samoan 2

Other Pacific 3

Asian 1

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

25 June 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review November 2008

Education Review March 2005

Accountability Review October 1999

25 June 2012

To the Parents and Community of Brockville Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Brockville Kindergarten.

Brockville Kindergarten is a community-based service located next to Brockville Primary School. It is one of 22 kindergartens administered under the umbrella of Dunedin Kindergartens (DK). The service caters for children from aged two years until they go to school. It is open for six hours each day.

The teachers at the kindergarten are a new team. They and the children and parents are welcoming and friendly and enjoy each other’s company. Teachers focus on promoting children’s social skills and on creating a respectful, caring environment for learning. They have built positive relationships with families, the local schools and the community. The children attending the kindergarten are motivated to learn.

The teachers work skilfully with the children during the programme. They integrate learning into the conversations they have with children. Children are responded to in ways that suit their individual personality and learning requirements. The teachers have been working on how they record the learning that occurs for children through their experiences at the kindergarten. The learning stories show children’s progress over time. They show that learning is well supported through the kindergarten resources, a range of activities and the conversations the children have with their teachers. The teachers reflect on their practices and the programme and are developing their vision for the service.

Teachers have identified aspects of the learning programme and their teaching practices that need development. They have begun self-review processes which are helping to identify what is working well and where changes are needed. Now that the third member of the teaching team has been appointed they plan to review their kindergarten philosophy. They have begun to build on bicultural practices and to better integrate Māori perspectives into the programme.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within 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.