Brooklands Kindergarten - 12/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Brooklands Kindergarten

How well placed is Brooklands 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

Brooklands Kindergarten provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. It is open for six hours daily, five days a week and is licensed for up to 34 children. Within these hours, sessional care and education is also provided. Of a roll of 44 children, 12 identify as Māori.

Brooklands Kindergarten is situated close to Pukekura Park and Brooklands Zoo. The local community is a valuable resource for the curriculum.

The teaching team is fully qualified.  There have been staff changes, including leadership, since the October 2013 ERO report.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A Chief Executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014.

Two professional leaders (PLs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the 2016 ERO reviews a programme manager and a human resource generalist have been appointed.

ERO's 2013 report identified areas requiring further development. These included teachers continuing to develop their evaluative capacity, developing knowledge of success for Māori children and enhancing children's transitions. Progress is evident. In addition, the association was asked to strengthen appraisal. Progress in this area is ongoing.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Taranaki Kindergarten Association. 

The Review Findings

Children learn through a child-led curriculum that effectively responds to their strengths, interests and abilities. They engage for sustained periods in play. The environment is used purposefully to invite children's exploration, curiosity and developing interests. It clearly reflects the diverse cultures, languages and identities of the children and their families.

Teachers are warm and welcoming to children and whānau. They draw on these positive relationships to enhance children's sense of belonging and wellbeing. Whānau are valued by teachers as experts on their culture. A strong sense of place and community is evident.

Children with additional needs are very well supported and monitored over time. Teachers liaise with external agencies as required.  The services equity funding is used to support children and their whānau to fully participate in kindergarten activities.

An improved process for assessment, planning and evaluation has recently been implemented for individual children. It clearly shows children's progress over time. Parent aspirations are valued and are partners in the planning process. The should be strengthened by:

  • more clearly identifying teacher strategies to support children's learning
  • evaluation to inform future planning
  • further embedding children's culture, language and identity in their individual plans.

Group planning effectively responds to children's emerging interests. Teachers then purposefully set up the learning environment to extend and promote sustained play. Activity-based group planning and dispositional individual planning are effectively combined to promote children's confidence and competence. Events, excursions and celebrations extend the programme and link to children's home cultures.

Te reo me ngā tikanga is highly valued and strongly evident throughout the curriculum. Te ao Māori me Taranakitanga are well embedded and integrated throughout documents, the environment and interactions. Strong bicultural practices benefit all children. Teachers actively support, celebrate and affirm the aspirations of whānau and tamariki Māori. Association guidance should further support teacher's ongoing focus on promoting educational success for Māori children.

Teachers systematically review all aspects of Kindergarten operation. Planned reviews occur that are collaborative and result in improvements. Association guidance is required to shift the process towards evaluating practice.

Children are well supported to confidently continue their learning journey on to school. Relationships between the kindergarten, home and school are affirmed through well-considered resources and displays. A newly-developed induction package supports children and their whānau into the kaupapa of the kindergarten.

A useful appraisal process supports teacher practice. The recently revised appraisal procedure, includes the use of formal observation of teacher practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. Critique of practice should be enhanced to support teachers' ongoing improvement and learning. PLs should then undertake regular monitoring of how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success would enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of its goals and vision. 

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is evident through planned initiatives to support teachers to promote te āo Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally appropriate practices. Senior leaders are developing initiatives to better determine the impact of curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten. 

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders in partnership with teaching teams should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of legislative requirements, including those related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that the key next steps are to continue to strengthen the evaluative aspects of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • internal evaluation

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan
  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment, planning and evaluation, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

12 May 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

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

5217

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children aged over 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Boys 24, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
British

12
30
  2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

12 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

December 2006

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.