Brooklands Kindergarten - 30/10/2013

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 is one of sixteen kindergartens managed by the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Senior teachers are employed by the association to support teaching and learning.

The service is licensed for 34 children aged from two to five years. Both morning and afternoon sessions have mixed age groups of three to five year olds. Some children attend full days. The teaching team consists of four fully registered teachers.

Brooklands Kindergarten is situated close to Pukekura Park and Brooklands Zoo. The local community is a rich resource for the curriculum. Parents frequently return to places visited, to share in, and extend their children’s learning.

The philosophy has been thoughtfully reviewed to better reflect the kindergarten’s culture. Children’s holistic development, peaceful play and happy relationships and learning in a sustainable environment are valued.

The kindergarten receives equity funding to assist in meeting the community’s needs. Teachers work with a wide range of agencies, supporting whānau to access early childhood education and social services.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

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

The Review Findings

Board members undertake regular training and have developed useful processes to support governance roles and responsibilities. The senior teacher provides effective professional leadership. She visits the kindergarten regularly and works alongside the teaching team to support development of practice. These association processes help to promote positive outcomes for children.

Children learn in a spacious, bright and supportive environment. Literacy and numeracy learning opportunities are integrated across the curriculum and used frequently by children. They decide which interests to follow and persevere with for periods of time. Group and individual activities, imaginative play, physical challenge and exploring the outdoors are favourite choices.

Respect for children’s language, culture and identity are evident throughout the curriculum and in teachers’ relationships with whānau. Children are seen as capable, with valuable experiences to contribute. High numbers of Māori enrol in the mixed-age sessions that are designed to encourage attendance and meet the needs of families. Parents are regularly in the kindergarten, learning with their children and sharing in the programme. They are comfortable in the surroundings. Planned professional learning and development should enhance teachers’ knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Children with special needs are well supported to fully participate in learning. Respectful partnerships with parents and assistance from specialist agencies help children to make gains in their development. They engage happily with their friends and use the wide range of available resources.

Portfolios are attractive records of children’s learning, interests and development. Teachers invite parents to contribute and have a variety of ways to capture whānau stories. Children keep their own scrapbooks, making entries as they choose. They are proud of their efforts and frequently share with others. Planning develops from teachers’ daily observations of group and individual interests and from learning stories. Teachers are at the early stages of adding complexity to each child’s learning.

Transition to school focuses on children feeling well supported and confident in a new situation. Kindergarten teachers support families with information and discussion. Children spend time at the schools prior to enrolment and turning five is an occasion for celebration.

There is a clear and useful process for planned self review. Teachers’ current focus is on the outdoor environment and deciding which learning experiences best cater for the children’s interests and needs. The views of children and parents are valued and contribute to decision making. Improvements to the outdoor area are already making a considerable difference to children’s learning. Feedback from whānau is very positive. The process for planned reviews could also be used to respond to issues as they arise.

Teachers work collaboratively as a team, using their strengths and leading in areas of interest. They regularly think about their practice, what works well for children and what could be changed. The head teacher guides direction and is focused on improvement. Long and short term planning are closely linked to enact the philosophy. An active committee supports families and teachers.

Key Next Steps

Teachers’ evaluative review capacity continues to develop. Appropriate next steps include:

  • using the existing, clear process for planned self review when responding to issues that arise spontaneously
  • continuing to build teachers’ knowledge of what constitutes success for Māori children
  • leading curriculum-based, capable early childhood learner conversations with schools to enhance children’s transitions.

The association should continue to review appraisal and consider formal critique of teaching practice and feedback processes to improve teaching and learning.

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.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

30 October 2013

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

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

20

26

6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

N/A

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

30 October 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

July 2010

 

Education Review

December 2006

 

Education Review

November 2003

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.