Brockville Kindergarten - 07/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Brockville Kindergarten

How well placed is Brockville Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Brockville Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Brockville Kindergarten provides early childhood education for children from two years of age. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children. Children participate in half or whole-day learning programmes, from 8.30am to 2.30pm. Children come from increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds. Most live in the local neighbourhood and some are English language learners.

The day-to-day operation of the kindergarten is managed by a head teacher, supported by two qualified early childhood teachers and a support person. Two of the three teachers have transferred to this kindergarten in the last three years. The kindergarten is located beside the local school.

The kindergarten's philosophy states that children will experience a rich literacy and bicultural environment and be supported to be socially competent and develop their oral language. Other priorities are expressed in their BROCKVILLE name. Key words are Bicultural, Respectful relationships, Opportunities, Community-centred, Curiosity, Knowledge filled Kete, Varied learning, Vision for the future, Inquiry learning, Language and Literacy rich, Live sustainably and Experience sound early childhood learning.

The kindergarten has made good progress against the recommendations in ERO's 2015 review. Areas that have been improved include: clarity about the kindergarten's learning priorities; aspects of group and individual planning; strategic planning and alignment of kindergarten processes to this.

Brockville Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens administered by Dunedin Kindergartens (DK). A general manager oversees the association, under the governance of a board. Senior teachers provide ongoing professional advice and guidance to each kindergarten on teaching and learning. This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the DK.

The Review Findings

Positive relationships and a welcoming culture help children and parents feel that this is their place. There are caring, respectful and supportive relationships between teachers and children, and with parents and extended whānau. Children play well with and alongside their peers. Older children are caring and helpful towards younger and less confident children.

Children show a strong sense of belonging. They confidently approach their teachers, initiate and lead their play and learning. They show high levels of engagement and have good opportunities to make choices, take responsibility and become leaders in the kindergarten. Well-established but flexible routines contribute to their sense of belonging.

Kaitiakitanga for self, others and the environment is very evident. Children have many opportunities to learn about healthy eating, caring for the environment, and sustainable practices. This includes regularly helping in the nearby community garden.

Te ao and te reo Māori are valued. Children are encouraged to have a reverence towards the Māori gods and learn about local legends. Core Māori concepts of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, tuakana teina and ako are very evident. Children who identify as Māori are valued and increasingly supported to share their culture and knowledge. Teachers want to continue to strengthen te ao Māori.

Children are very well supported in their learning. Teachers provide well-planned and engaging group learning that has a balance of adult provocation and child led. The intended learning and strategies to support children's learning are clearly identified. Diverse learners and children transitioning into the kindergarten or on to school are very well supported.

The teachers are a collaborative and improvement-focused team. Their individual interests and strengths are well used to enrich children's learning. They have built constructive relationships with the local school, kohanga reo and other groups. Initiatives are based on what is likely to make a positive difference for children and their families.

The DK board has made good progress in addressing the governance recommendations from ERO's 2015 reviews. The DK’s mission and strategic priorities are well known and reflected in each kindergarten's strategic and annual plans. The DK has a sound policy and procedure framework that provides guidance for kindergartens and sound systems to monitor health and safety. Leaders and teachers benefit from relevant professional development and leadership support. The DK actively supports equity of outcomes for all children by funding additional teaching resources to support children with additional needs.

Key Next Steps for the DK

The board has clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • ensure that reporting and monitoring at all levels are evaluative to clearly show how desired outcomes for children have been improved in relation to the DK’s and kindergartens’ priorities for learning and other strategic priorities

  • ensure that a robust and systematic quality assurance framework is implemented to inform and monitor ongoing improvements in each kindergarten.

Key Next Steps for Brockville Kindergarten

The teaching team and ERO agree that the next steps are to:

  • strengthen aspects of individual assessment, planning and evaluation, such as making Te Whāriki, parents' aspirations, and teaching strategies more visible in learning stories
  • strengthen learning-focused partnerships with parents
  • ensure that all children's cultures are more visible in the kindergarten environment, programme and documentation
  • more regularly report to the DK about the operation of the kindergarten and progress against the strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Brockville 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

7 May 2019

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

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

5491

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over two years of age

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Girls 15, Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities

8
23
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

7 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

November 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.