Glenbrook Kindergarten - 11/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Glenbrook Kindergarten

How well placed is Glenbrook 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

Glenbrook Kindergarten is a rural service that provides education and care for children over two years old in Waiuku to the south of Auckland. For several years it has operated the kindergarten day model (KDM), which enables children to attend sessions that match school hours. The centre is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional practice manager (PPM) provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

The kindergarten has a stable teaching team, which has established strong relationships with families. The teachers, who are all fully registered, participate in a variety of professional development opportunities. This has recently included an extensive programme to help strengthen teachers’ skills and knowledge in te reo Māori. Teachers are committed to Enviro Schools practices.

In 2011 ERO identified several positive features of the kindergarten that supported children to develop as confident learners and communicators. ERO recommended teachers further develop their self-review and assessment processes, improve their consultation with parents, and increase their confidence in using te reo Māori. Teachers have responded well to these challenges.

The kindergarten’s commitment to providing authentic learning experiences and responding to diverse learning pathways is thoroughly supported by teachers.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, interested and articulate learners. They enthusiastically engage in activities on arrival and quickly reconnect with friends. Children work confidently in collaborative groups and often sustain their play for prolonged periods. They benefit from the teachers’ growing focus on environmentally sustainable practices and the variety of resources they can independently access.

Children communicate well, having meaningful conversations with teachers and their peers. Many are also becoming confident to naturally integrate words in te reo Māori when they speak. Children show a strong sense of belonging in this environment and the small group of children with special needs is supported very well.

Teachers encourage children to be independent learners. They use open questions effectively to prompt new ideas and foster problem solving. Teachers engage children in ongoing projects that enable them to deepen their thinking and use early literacy and mathematics skills for real purposes. Teachers recognise that they could now more effectively document their strategies for extending children's individual interests.

Teachers are a collaborative team who value each other’s individual expertise. They communicate well and use their complementary skills to share responsibilities. Teachers informally reflect on the programme each day and document children's current interests each week. They acknowledge that more deliberate planning and evaluation of some curriculum areas would provide better assurance about children's progress and achievement. Teachers have made significant progress in developing their knowledge of te reo Māori and their capacity to support the success of Māori children as Māori.

Families support the kindergarten very well. An active parent support group organises many events that involve families. Teachers value parents’ input through surveys, informal discussions and parent-help rosters. Teachers have recently become more responsive to parents’ aspirations for their children’s learning and are considering ways to encourage more feedback. Parents who were interviewed by ERO enthusiastically endorsed the kindergarten and the experiences that their children enjoy.

The kindergarten is well managed. The systems in place for centre operations, ongoing self review and Association support contribute to efficient kindergarten management. Teachers are guided by their teaching and learning statement, the Association’s strategic goals and their own annual planning to sustain developments. Current Association initiatives to enhance appraisal processes and annual planning in kindergartens should contribute well to teachers’ goal setting for further improvement.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the PPM agree that key next steps for kindergarten development should include:

  • ongoing development of their self-review processes with a particular focus on the curriculum and outcomes for children
  • formalising processes for programme evaluation
  • strengthening the links between learning stories in children's profile books to improve the quality of assessment.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 February 2015

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

Waiuku

Ministry of Education profile number

25111

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Girls 28

Boys 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

British/Irish

Dutch

others

4

44

2

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

NA

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

11 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011

 

Education Review

August 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.