Grants Braes Kindergarten - 11/06/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Grants Braes Kindergarten is one of 22 early childhood services operating under the Dunedin Kindergarten Association (DKA). As a result of community demand, the kindergarten has increased its roll up to 40 children. Children attend for a mix of part and whole-day sessions.

Children and their families are made to feel very welcome in the kindergarten. Parents comfortably share information about their children with the teachers. Parents are actively involved in the operation of the kindergarten.

Children play and learn in attractive and well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments. They have effective relationships with their teachers and with each other. They have many opportunities to be creative and expressive and to explore, including learning to use ICT. Teachers have meaningful conversations with children and help them to be independent and to make choices about their learning.

Other aspects that support and promote children’s learning are:

  • teachers working well together and having shared understanding and vision
  • a group programme that integrates numeracy and literacy
  • teachers incorporating te reo Māori and Māori perspectives in the programme
  • effective systems to manage the kindergarten
  • support from DKA management.

The teachers and ERO agree that aspects of self review and records of learning could be improved.

The children play and learn in a well-managed environment.

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

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

The Grants Braes Kindergarten philosophy states that the teachers aim to provide a warm, caring and safe environment that empowers and supports children and their families. Their vision is for children to be confident and competent, life-long learners.

Areas of strength

Children and their families benefit from positive and caring relationships with the teachers. Teachers seek and welcome parents’ contributions to the programme.

Parents share meaningful information with the teachers about their children and feel comfortable to stay. There is a strong sense of community in the kindergarten: for example, links with the local schools, an active parent committee, family nights and parent social groups.

Children are settled, engaged and sustained in their play. They are active participants in the programme and make their own choices. They play and learn in an environment that offers a wide range of experiences and activities to extend and support their learning. They have many opportunities to explore and to be creative and expressive.

Teachers plan and implement a programme that is based on the principles and strands of the NZ early childhood curriculum -Te Whāriki. They know the children well and use good quality interactions to support and extend children’s learning. They follow the children’s lead and help them to be independent and socially competent.

Other aspects that support and promote children’s learning are:

  • the effective integration of ICT to support and extend learning
  • well-managed transitions and flexible routines
  • teachers who work well as a team and have a shared vision for children’s learning
  • integration of early literacy and mathematics into the programme
  • a high level of support from the DKA management team.

Teachers have begun to seek aspirations of families with Māori children so that they can better support the children in their learning. Teachers have undertaken ongoing professional development to improve their knowledge and use of te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and Māori perspectives.

Areas for development and review

Teachers are beginning to make good use of self review to improve aspects of the programme. They should now continue to build their understanding of self review and broaden the depth of inquiry to make and sustain meaningful improvements for children.

It is not clear from the records how teachers use the knowledge they have of children to support their learning. Teachers need to develop a system that shows that they all know what each child’s learning priorities are, and that the strategies they plan to use to support them are inclusive of parent/whānau aspirations. Then they should evaluate how well the children are learning.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Grants Braes Kindergarten completed an ERO Management Assurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they 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 Recommendation

ERO and the kindergarten managers agree that they will:

  1. improve self-review processes and written records of the children’s learning.

5 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

11 June 2012

About the Centre

Type

All Day Education and Care

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged two to five years

Roll number

63

Gender composition

Girls 34

Boys 29

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 51

Māori 6

Asian 3

Sri Lankan 1

English 1

Cook Island 1

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

11 June 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review Report November 2008

Education Review Report February 2006

Accountability Review September 2001

To the Parents and Community of Grants Braes Kindergarten

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

Grants Braes Kindergarten is one of 22 early childhood services operating under the Dunedin Kindergarten Association (DKA). As a result of community demand, the kindergarten has increased its roll up to 40 children. Children attend for a mix of part and whole-day sessions.

Children and their families are made to feel very welcome in the kindergarten. Parents comfortably share information about their children with the teachers. Parents are actively involved in the operation of the kindergarten.

Children play and learn in attractive and well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments. They have effective relationships with their teachers and with each other. They have many opportunities to be creative and expressive and to explore, including learning to use ICT. Teachers have meaningful conversations with children and help them to be independent and to make choices about their learning.

Other aspects that support and promote children’s learning are:

  • teachers working well together and having shared understanding and vision
  • a group programme that integrates numeracy and literacy
  • teachers incorporating te reo Māori and Māori perspectives in the programme
  • effective systems to manage the kindergarten
  • support from DKA management.

The teachers and ERO agree that aspects of self review and records of learning could be improved.

The children play and learn in a well-managed environment.

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