Brooklyn Kindergarten - 17/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Brooklyn Kindergarten

How well placed is Brooklyn 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

Brooklyn Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery, including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning.

The December 2011 ERO report for Brooklyn Kindergarten identified that self review, appraisal and implementation of Te Manawa needed further development. Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. They feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergartens' annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

All teachers at Brooklyn Kindergarten are qualified. Since the previous ERO review, hours of operation have changed along with the establishment of a new teaching team.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The revised kindergarten philosophy is clearly evident in the programme where children are confident and capable and leading learning. The kindergarten environment provided for children promotes opportunities for challenge and sustained play.

The curriculum is responsive to children's interests and promotes successful outcomes for them. A child-centred and holistic programme supports their learning. There has been a clear emphasis on re-establishing and deepening relationships with parents.

Children’s contributions are valued. Teachers and children have fun together. Children are highly engaged in cooperative play for sustained periods of time. They freely access a wide range of activities and resources that encourage self-initiated play. Teachers engage in conversations with children and offer support and encouragement.

Children’s individual and group interests are highly visible in the programme. Daily reflections and planning assists teachers to be clearer about their role in supporting children’s learning. Continuing to develop reflections and planning as tools for identifying children’s learning and teacher responses should be ongoing.

Children’s portfolios show how learning is extended. There has been some progress in evaluating the effectiveness of teaching. This is documented. However, teachers should continue to refine their evaluations to better inform programme development. This should help build greater consistency in understanding assessment for learning.

Positive gains in staff understanding of the use of self review are evident. Teacher inquiry and review informs practices and guides decisions for improvement. Staff reflective practices contribute to positive outcomes for children.

Children at Brooklyn Kindergarten have opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Association leaders acknowledge that they need to build teachers’ capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity. This development should include establishing relationships with mana whenua and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Leadership at Brooklyn Kindergarten is supportive and collaborative. Frequent opportunities for leadership support teachers' professional growth that contributes to a culture of collaborative inquiry. The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. This continues to require development. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree that the following key next steps for Brooklyn Kindergarten are to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment and evaluation of children’s learning
  • self review.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. This should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to systems to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system
  • building teachers’ capability to be more responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 June 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

5344

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

73

Gender composition

Girls 37,

Boys 36

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

6

50

1

16

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

April 2015

Date of this report

17 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

December 2011

 

Education Review

May 2008

 

Education Review

June 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.