Bayfield Kindergarten - 10/11/2015

1 Evaluation of Bayfield Kindergarten

How well placed is Bayfield 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

Bayfield Kindergarten provides education and care for children aged from two years to school age. It is open for school-day hours but some of the younger children go home at lunchtime. There are up to 42 children at the kindergarten in the morning and 20 in the afternoon.

The kindergarten has made positive progress in meeting the recommendations of the 2012 ERO report. Since then, the buildings and grounds have also been upgraded and a new head teacher appointed. All the teachers are qualified. A parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising and improvements.

The kindergarten operates under the Dunedin Kindergartens (DK) umbrella. DK provides management and professional support for the teachers. This review was part of a cluster of 24 kindergarten reviews in the DK.

The Review Findings

Children and their teachers have positive and trusting relationships. The children develop friendships and play well together. The teachers welcome parents and whānau and encourage them to contribute their knowledge and skills to the kindergarten. Teachers identify when children need additional support and help parents to access it.

The teachers have a strong focus on supporting children’s oral language. Their conversations with children prompt children to think more deeply. Teachers use the opportunities that come up in the course of play to extend children’s speaking and thinking, and to give children practice in making choices and decisions. A varied music programme also supports oral language learning.

Māori perspectives are woven into the programme. Children hear and use te reo Māori, waiata, karakia and traditional stories, and take part in celebrations. Teachers value and affirm the culture and identity of Māori children at the kindergarten.

The kindergarten has a range of high-quality resources. Teachers use the interactive whiteboard as an effective tool for children to learn about the wider world and explore the use of ICT. Routines are well used to support children’s independence and self-help skills.

Over time the teachers and parent committee have thoughtfully designed the environment to enhance children’s experiences at the kindergarten. The outdoor environment builds children’s sense of belonging through making connections with the past and the local landscape. Children have many opportunities to challenge their physical capabilities. Children also benefit from the teachers’ emphasis on environmental sustainability, in caring for the vegetable gardens, worm farm, chickens, and rabbits.

The teachers have a useful system for planning for individual children and groups. Their records of children's learning make children’s learning visible, often show the teachers’ role in supporting this, and identify next steps. Teachers build on their own and children’s enthusiasms to promote further learning for children. They are working on finding ways for parents to be more involved in planning for their children’s learning.

The teaching team has developed shared ideas about what is important learning for children at this kindergarten. Supported by the head teacher, the team works cooperatively and teachers use each other’s strengths for the benefit of children.

The teachers have an effective system for self review and it has led to some useful changes at the kindergarten. It would be worthwhile to deepen the scope of reviews. The kindergarten’s philosophy statement could more closely reflect what is unique and special about this kindergarten.

Teachers have a number of ideas about what they want for the future of the kindergarten. Their ideas could be developed into a strategic plan that shows the priorities and actions to achieve the desired outcomes. Related systems such as professional learning, appraisal, self-review topics and senior teacher support could then be aligned to strengthen the strategic focus.

The vision of the DK is to provide excellence in early childhood education for all children. The DK is governed by a board and managed by a long-serving general manager. The kindergarten teachers told ERO they appreciated the support they receive from the association and the advice and guidance of the senior teachers.

The board, general manager and senior teachers:

  • provide appropriate opportunities for parents and staff to contribute their ideas about matters in the association
  • are responsive to identified needs of children and families within the association and provide funding and support to enable these to be met
  • have developed a useful framework to guide their work
  • take all reasonable steps to ensure safe environments for children, teachers and staff
  • maintain their professional learning and provide ongoing professional learning for teachers in the association.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and ERO agree that key next steps for teachers, with support from their senior teacher, are to:

  • continue to find ways to enrich children’s learning and the programme through more meaningful partnerships with all parents
  • unpack and develop the philosophy statement so that it better reflects the distinctiveness of this kindergarten
  • deepen the scope of self review so that it covers all matters that impact significantly on children’s learning and well-being
  • develop a strategic plan to show the priorities for the kindergarten’s future, and align other systems to support the implementation of the plan.

Next steps for the board, with the support of the general manager and senior teachers, are to:

  • continue to define what excellence in education looks like in the DK
  • further develop strategic planning to better show future goals and priorities and how these will be achieved in the association and in the kindergartens
  • ensure that the reports they receive are evaluative, show how well the DK’s vision and goals are met, and inform future planning
  • continue to strengthen the appraisal process and be assured that appraisals are rigorous and consistent throughout the kindergartens.

With the appointment of a new senior teacher it is timely for the board and general manager to review the role of the senior teachers and strengthen systems to ensure consistent, high-quality practice across all kindergartens within the DK.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Chris Rowe
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

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

Andersons Bay, Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

5490

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, over two years of age

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Girls:      27
Boys:     21

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
European

  6
35
  1
  4
  2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

10 November 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

November 2008

Education Review

December 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.