Helen Deem Kindergarten - 25/06/2010

1. Background

Introduction

A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

This supplementary review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

Terms of Reference

Helen Deem KindergartenThis supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of thegoverning body and management in relation to areas identified in the March 2009ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigateprogress in improving:

  • assessment practices, programme planning and implementation and evaluation;
  • access to support and guidance to help teachers identify and extend children’s strengths, abilities and interests;
  • consultation with families of Māori children regarding their aspirations and expectations for their child’s learning; and
  • self-review processes and practices including the way management systems support teaching practice and children’s learning.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Helen Deem is one of 22 kindergartens licensed under the Dunedin Kindergarten Association (DKA) umbrella. The service follows the “school-day” model and is open from 8.30 to 2.30 daily. Children can attend all day or part-day sessions.

The head teacher has overall responsibility for a team of 5 teachers. They are supported by an advisor from the Association.

In March 2009 ERO confirmed a report that identified aspects of the kindergarten and teaching practices that needed improvement. These included assessing children’s learning, planning and implementing programmes to extend children’s learning, and self-review processes and practices.

Since 2009 the teachers have made good progress towards addressing many of these areas for improvement. Progress includes;

  • professional development that has increased teachers’ understanding of assessment and how to record this ;
  • parent consultation and gathering information about children to increase teachers’ knowledge of children’s current learning and interests;
  • training in self review and the subsequent implementation of some useful spontaneous reviews.

The head teacher with the support of the DKA, now needs to establish systems to link assessment, programme planning and implementation. The teachers also need to develop ways to effectively and regularly evaluate and improve learning and teaching over time.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle

3. Findings

Assessment Practices, Programme Planning and Implementation, and Evaluation

Background

At the time of the 2009 review it was not clear how teachers identified individual learning or tracked children’s progress. Teachers needed to systematically gather information around children’s interests, strengths, abilities and learning requirements. They then needed to use this information to help them plan programmes that build on and extend children. ERO recommended that teachers enhance children’s learning and development through planning, providing a range of activities that cater for the learning and development needs of the children and evaluating the effect.

Areas of progress

  • Assessment.

Teachers have focused on building their understanding and practices around assessment. They have worked together to develop assessment procedures and have agreed to a system to ensure all children have a story written about them regularly. The children’s profiles show teachers are able to identify children’s interests and learning needs, develop strategies to support and extend children and evaluate the effectiveness of these. Best examples are when teachers identify the specific learning occurring, show how they have added value to the child’s learning through the experience and then note what specific opportunities they will provide to extend the learning for that individual. In some profile books it is also evident that teachers have provided this next learning experience. Teachers now need to build on this good practice.

  • Programmes.

Teachers provide a range of experiences and activities for children that promote learning. ERO observed teachers following up on children’s interests through conversations and by providing additional resources. Some teachers consult children for their opinions, use questioning to extend thinking and lift children’s knowledge, use the computer to support research and investigation, promote independence and taking responsibility, and unobtrusively support children engaged in sustained play. Children are also given opportunities to revisit previous experiences. The teachers bring the children together for focused learning on special topics such as recycling and gardening. Some of these topics link to children’s interests and learning.

Area for further review and development

Links between assessment and the programme.Teachers acknowledge that the planning process needs to be improved. They have yet to clearly link what they know about children with the programmes they provide to extend learning. Teachers also need to regularly evaluate the experiences the children are involved in to determine what worked well and what needs to be improved to better support children’s learning.[Recommendation 4.1]

Professional Support

Background

During the 2009 review ERO recommended that teachers seek professional development and guidance to support them in effectively meeting the interests, abilities and learning needs of children.

Area of progress

Professional development.The head teacher has attended professional development in assessment and attends collegial group discussions regularly. She shares what she has learnt with the teachers. Teacher’s professional learning plans show that each teacher has had the goal to work on assessment systems and methods. The specific detail of how the appraisal process supports teachers’ progress with implementing changes in practice was not available. However, teachers were able to tell ERO about professional development opportunities over the past year that have changed their practice. Professional development has included Association training in self review.

Area for further review and development

Leadership.Teachers have been working on individual goals towards improving practice. It may be useful for the head teacher and her team to develop a shared vision for children. Teachers need to agree what this vision would look like if achieved in terms of teaching practice and outcomes for children. This may provide a goal that could support the team toward consistent good quality practices. The team has recently reviewed the kindergarten philosophy. This also needs to be unpacked to provide the head teacher with clear guidelines by which to gauge teaching practice. Teachers also acknowledge they need to review time-management.[Recommendation 4.1]

Consultation

Background

In the 2009 report ERO recommended that teachers investigate appropriate ways to consult with Mäori parents about their aspirations and expectations for their children’s learning.

Area of progress

Information sharing.Teachers have made good progress in building the link between the kindergarten and children’s home-life. They have trialled a number of processes to gain information about children and to help them learn about children’s strengths and abilities. Parent-voice sheets have become a regular entry in the children’s profile books and parents are making useful comments about their children’s wider experiences and new interests. Teachers are making an effort to have informal discussions with family members. Work has begun on improvements to learning records for new enrolments. A new system has been implemented to track how children settle into the kindergarten. This helps inform parents about their child’s transition process. A new “me sheet” has been developed. It requests information from new parents about their aspirations for their children. Teachers also arranged an afternoon-tea meeting for parents of Māori children as an opportunity for discussion.

Area for further review and development

Use of information.Teachers need to continue developing ways to show how they use the information they get from parents when planning the learning environment and programmes. Teachers need systems to regularly gather information reflecting the changing needs/aspirations parents have for their children. It may be useful to use the “Me-Sheet” on a regular basis with all children. Teachers also need to investigate how individual families/parents want to be consulted and when.[Recommendation 4.1]

Self Review

Background

At the time of the 2009 ERO report the kindergarten teachers were in the early stages of understanding and implementing self review. ERO recommended self-review processes and practices be further developed including the way management systems support teaching practice and children’s learning.

Area of progress

Understanding self review. Teachers are making good progress towards developing their self-review practices. Although still in the early stages, teachers understand the value of self review. Teachers meet regularly to focus on review and frequently reflect and discuss aspects of their programmes and practices. The review of curriculum policies and procedures is now included in the Dunedin Kindergarten Association (DKA) self-review schedule and the DKA has provided professional development on self review. Teachers have undertaken some spontaneous reviews that have resulted in positive outcomes for children. They have also used surveys to gather information from parents.

Area for further review and development

The scope of review. Teachers need to continue to develop self-review processes and practices and widen the scope of their reviews. Reviews need to include the quality of teaching and learning and assessment, programme planning and teacher interactions. It may be useful for teachers to first establish indicators for best practice and outcomes for children to review against.[Recommendation 4.1]

4. Recommendations

ERO recommends that the head teacher, with the support of the DKA, develop systems to ensure the further development of the above areas for review and development. These include :

  • assessment processes, programme planning and implementation, and self review.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

25 June 2010

 

About the Centre

Type

Kindergarten

Number licensed for

40 children, over aged 2

Roll number

60

Gender composition

Girls 34 Boys 26

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 41

Māori 10

Cook Island 1

Samoan 1

Other Pacific 2

Asian 1

Other 3

Review team on site

May 2010

Date of this report

25 June 2010

Previous ERO reports

Education Reviews March 2009 February 2006

Accountability Reviews November 2001 June 1997

Review Reports September 1991 August 1990

25 June 2010

To the Parents and Community of Helen Deem Kindergarten 

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Helen Deem Kindergarten follows.

Helen Deem is one of 22 kindergartens licensed under the Dunedin Kindergarten Association (DKA) umbrella. The service follows the “school-day” model and is open from 8.30 to 2.30 daily. Children can attend all day or part-day sessions.

The head teacher has overall responsibility for a team of 5 teachers. They are supported by an advisor from the Association.

In March 2009 ERO confirmed a report that identified aspects of the kindergarten and teaching practices that needed improvement. These included assessing children’s learning, planning and implementing programmes to extend children’s learning, and self-review processes and practices.

Since 2009 the teachers have made good progress towards addressing many of these areas for improvement. Progress includes;

  • professional development that has increased teachers’ understanding of assessment and how to record this ;
  • parent consultation and gathering information about children to increase teachers’ knowledge of children’s current learning and interests;
  • training in self review and the subsequent implementation of some useful spontaneous reviews.

The head teacher with the support of the DKA, now needs to establish systems to link assessment, programme planning and implementation. The teachers also need to develop ways to effectively and regularly evaluate and improve learning and teaching over time.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region