Grants Braes Kindergarten - 07/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Grant Braes Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Grants Braes Kindergarten provides early childhood education for children aged over two years of age. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 43 children. Children participate in half or whole day learning programmes running from 8.30am to 2.30pm. The day-to-day operation of the kindergarten is managed by a head teacher, supported by four qualified early childhood teachers and one teacher aide.

The kindergarten's kaupapa states that children will:

  • experience a warm, caring, fun and safe learning environment

  • develop reciprocal learning relationships with their peers, teachers and wider community

  • foster ongoing and diverse learning within a bicultural curriculum framework.

The kindergarten has sustained the effective practices noted in ERO's 2015 review and continues to make good progress with curriculum assessment, planning and evaluation practices, teacher appraisal and internal evaluation systems. Significant changes to the outdoor environment have contributed positively to teaching and learning opportunities for children.

Grants Braes 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 DK.

The Review Findings

Children play in a calm, unhurried environment where teachers give them time to make decisions and learn from watching their peers. They experience warm, responsive and respectful interactions with each other and their teachers. Children feel a sense of belonging and place in the programme and are confident, competent and capable learners.

There are caring and respectful relationships at all levels of the kindergarten. Teachers have established reciprocal relationships with children, parents, families and whānau. As new families arrive into the kindergarten, teachers are deliberate in their approach to get to know them well.

The indoor and outdoor environments are very well planned and resourced. There is a strong focus on kaitiakitanga - care for self, the environment (sustainability) and others. There is a good balance of quiet and busy spaces for children to use in their play. The natural outdoor spaces are large and interesting and provide opportunities for children to take risks, challenge themselves and explore.

The curriculum is broad based and resourced appropriately to support the needs, interests and ages of all children. There are positive levels of engagement by children in a range of curriculum areas. Children play cooperatively and collaboratively alongside their peers.

Core Māori values and practices are evident in the programme. The programme supports and promotes aspects of te ao Māori such as whanaungatanga, maanakitanga, kaitiakitanga and tuakana teina.

Diverse learners are well supported and planned for. Teachers work closely with migrant and new families to support their transition into the kindergarten. Transitions into, within and beyond the kindergarten are well managed by teachers.

The teaching team is collaborative, reflective and improvement focused. The head teacher models a culture of shared leadership. Teachers use the strengths and expertise of each other to support their professional practices. There is a strong commitment from teachers to ongoing professional learning.

Teachers participate in reflective practice that contributes to effective internal evaluation. Findings from internal evaluation are used to bring about continued improvement in the programme and practices. The senior teacher continues to provide a high level of professional support to the teachers.

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 is 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 Grants Braes Kindergarten

The teaching team has identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children is to:

  • continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation practices to clearly reflect the learning priorities for children and the role of the teacher to support these

  • continue to strengthen learning-focused partnerships with parents and whānau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grant Braes 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

5494

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children aged over two years

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 21

Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities

5
43
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

7 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

November 2015

Education Review

June 2012

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.