Brooklyn Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5344
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
51
Telephone:
Address:

62 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington

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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.

Brooklyn Kindergarten - 07/12/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Brooklyn Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the service provider contact person for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Relationships with families are regarded as pivotal to children’s successful engagement in the life of the kindergarten. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed and encouraged to take an active interest in their child’s learning. A strong sense of belonging and ownership is displayed by children, parents and teachers.

Considerable importance is placed on children’s leadership and empowerment, family involvement and mutually respectful relationships.Children are highly motivated, cooperative, kind and polite to each other. Teachers are genuinely engaged and interested in what children are doing.The atmosphere is calmand peaceful.

Teachers help children to direct their own learning and encourage them to be self managing. High levels of dialogue and one-to-one interactions extend children’s thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Creativity and innovation are encouraged and supported.

The programme provides many opportunities for children to investigate, express their ideas and extend their knowledge and abilities. Support for language and literacy is a major strength, with learning experiences encompassing oral and written language presented in meaningful and enjoyable contexts. Opportunities to investigate mathematical and scientific ideas are well supported.

The environment is organised with great care, maximising opportunities for children to investigate and make choices about their play. A wide range of high quality materials is made available. Children respect their work and play area and take an active role in its care and organisation.

The head teacher leads staff effectively. Her team works collaboratively and is appropriately focused on developing shared beliefs about children’s learning and well-being.

Teachers discuss their practice and its effectiveness for children. The team has identified aspects to develop further include rigorous evidenced-based self review, and improving the effectiveness of group planning processes.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Brooklyn Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atBrooklyn Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • association support

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the May 2008 ERO review, the kindergarten has restructured, increased session hours and expanded the teaching team. This has improved the teacher/child ratios. The teaching team comprises a head teacher and three teachers, two of whom are provisionally registered.

Environment upgrades include installation of an acoustic ceiling, new carpet and the addition of a small deck. Development of the outdoor area is a future priority.

Areas of strength

The kindergarten’s philosophy statement ‘children are the focus of our intent’ is highly evident at the centre and valued by staff. Its development results from considerable team reflection emphasising the importance of children’s leadership and empowerment, family engagement and relationships.

A highly inclusive culture underpins the day-to-day operation of the kindergarten. Teachers work closely alongside children to support their activities and learning. They show commitment to fostering social skills and a love of learning in children. Teachers are gentle and responsive to children’s needs. Relationships are mutually respectful and affectionate. A calm tone is consistently maintained.

Teachers are effective practitioners. They support children to lead their learning and encourage them to be self managing, enterprising and resourceful. High levels of dialogue and one-to-one interactions extend children’s thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Children are confident and their contributions are carefully nurtured.

The programme provides opportunities for children to investigate, express ideas and extend knowledge and skills. Socio-dramatic play is particularly well developed. Literacy is a strength with learning experiences presented in meaningful and enjoyable contexts. Opportunities to investigate mathematical and scientific ideas are well supported.

Group gathering times to welcome visitors or new children and remind everyone about ways of working together are authentic. A bicultural perspective is developing. Many children can confidently share their mihi and take part in waiata and action songs.

Individual profiles provide rich accounts of children’s interests, special talents, participation in the programme and learning over time. Narratives and photographs highlight developing dispositions and ways of thinking. Parents share aspirations they have for their children. Children are able to talk about their stories with authority.

is organised with great care, maximising opportunities for children to investigate and make choices about their play. A wide range of high quality materials is freely available. Indoor work spaces are expansive enabling multiple projects and cooperative ventures to be sustained. The outdoor area is well set out with a variety of opportunities for physical play and construction. Children are empowered by the possibilities. They show high levels of respect for their work and play space and take an active role in its care and organisation.The environment

Relationships with families are regarded as pivotal to children’s engagement in the life of the centre. Teachers acknowledge whānau as experts and advocates for their children. Parents are warmly welcomed and encouraged to take an active interest in their child’s learning. Children, parents and teachers display a strong sense of belonging and ownership.

The head teacher leads effectively. She models high standards for practice and quality teaching. The collaborative teaching team is focused on developing shared beliefs about children’s learning and well-being.

Areas for development and review

From professional discussion the team has identified the need for enhancement of:

  • self review, using evidence as a basis for evaluation
  • group planning processes to more effectively capture children’s emerging ideas and illustrate ongoing programme developments
  • bicultural perspectives in the programme through more effective integration of te reo Māori.

EROs external evaluation concurs with these enhancements.

Association Support

Background

The 2008 ERO review of the association identified several strengths, including the provision of professional development, sound operation plans, support for property development and the use of a range of communication strategies to keep teachers and communities informed. Areas for improvement included the quality and depth of the written feedback given to teachers by the senior teacher and strengthening the appraisal process.

Since 2008, the association has led consultation with the community to modify session times and improve the ratio of teachers to children from 1:15 to 1:10 and maintained its policy of employing qualified, registered teachers in regulated permanent positions.

The association provides expectations and guidance to the kindergarten through its strategic plan, policies and procedures and more recently, the professional development strategy Te Manawa: Criteria for Curriculum Implementation.

Areas of strength

The association continues to provide high levels of guidance and support to teachers for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These include:

  • the strategic plan setting expectations for participation, parent/whānau involvement and quality teaching practices
  • clearly defined indicators of quality teaching and learning practice through Te Manawa
  • a wide range of professional development opportunities
  • ongoing support in property development, human resource management, finance and resourcing.
Areas for development and review

The association, senior teachers and ERO have identified areas where the association can strengthen its support for teachers. These include:

  • further developing and supporting leadership, including a review of the appraisal process
  • reviewing senior teacher documentation to show how teachers have improved their practice as a result of feedback.
  • reviewing how kindergartens’ annual plans for teaching and learning could more explicitly show how teachers respond to the association strategic priorities.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of Children with Moderate to Severe Special Needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions promote the continuing well-being, learning and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • these children are supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service demonstrates inclusion.

There are currently several children attending the kindergarten who have been identified as having moderate to severe special needs.

Area of strength

Transitions into the centre are well considered and flexible to meet each child’s unique needs. Teachers are positive and inclusive in their interactions with these children, their families and education support workers. They regularly discuss their progress, needs, and implementation of strategies identified on each child’s individual development plan. Teachers work closely with parents and external agencies to ensure continuity of practice and expectations between home and the centre.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Brooklyn Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Recommendation

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agreed that the priorities for development and review are those outlined in the report.

6. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

67

Gender composition

Boys 36,

Girls 31

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 48,

Asian 7,

Māori 3,

Other ethnic groups 9

Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

7 December 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review June 2005

Accountability Review July 1998

7 December 2011

To the Parents and Community of Brooklyn Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Brooklyn Kindergarten.

Brooklyn Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the service provider contact person for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Relationships with families are regarded as pivotal to children’s successful engagement in the life of the kindergarten. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed and encouraged to take an active interest in their child’s learning. A strong sense of belonging and ownership is displayed by children, parents and teachers.

Considerable importance is placed on children’s leadership and empowerment, family involvement and mutually respectful relationships.Children are highly motivated, cooperative, kind and polite to each other. Teachers are genuinely engaged and interested in what children are doing.The atmosphere is calmand peaceful.

Teachers help children to direct their own learning and encourage them to be self managing. High levels of dialogue and one-to-one interactions extend children’s thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Creativity and innovation are encouraged and supported.

The programme provides many opportunities for children to investigate, express their ideas and extend their knowledge and abilities. Support for language and literacy is a major strength, with learning experiences encompassing oral and written language presented in meaningful and enjoyable contexts. Opportunities to investigate mathematical and scientific ideas are well supported.

The environment is organised with great care, maximising opportunities for children to investigate and make choices about their play. A wide range of high quality materials is made available. Children respect their work and play area and take an active role in its care and organisation.

The head teacher leads staff effectively. Her team works collaboratively and is appropriately focused on developing shared beliefs about children’s learning and well-being.

Teachers discuss their practice and its effectiveness for children. The team has identified aspects to develop further include rigorous evidenced-based self review, and improving the effectiveness of group planning processes.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person 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.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region