Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten - 25/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten

How well placed is Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is located in the grounds of Rudolf Steiner School. The school's governing body has responsibility for setting and monitoring the direction of the kindergarten.

The kindergarten caters for up to 100 children from two years to school age. The nursery provides education and care for children from two to three years. The other four rooms cater for the older children.

The special character and philosophy of the kindergarten focuses on children's holistic development in a supportive environment through rhythm, repetition, play and imitation.

The majority of teachers are qualified and certified early childhood teachers. Some staff are in training to become teachers.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the kindergarten has made limited progress in meeting the next steps identified in that report. They have yet to ensure that leadership roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. While teachers work well together, it is not clear who is responsible for promoting high-quality learning and teaching and building and supporting professional practice. This makes it difficult for the quality of leadership to be effectively evaluated.

Teachers should continue to extend the use of effective planning and assessment so that all children benefit from consistently good quality practices.

The appraisal process could be strengthened by teachers reflecting more on how well their teaching practices are contributing to positive outcomes for children and how these might be developed further.

The Review Findings

The Rudolf Steiner philosophy is highly evident and strongly reflected in teacher's practices and the environment. The holistic development and wellbeing of each child is a focus for teachers.

Children experience friendly, caring and supportive relationships with each other and their teachers. They are well engaged and learn at an unhurried pace within welcoming and settled surroundings. They have good opportunities for self-directed and social play. Children actively learn about the natural world, with the emphasis on using natural resources.

Teachers have a shared commitment to, and good understanding of, te reo me ngā tikangā Māori and regularly include it in the learning programme. They have identified the need for a deliberate and continuing focus to strengthen the bicultural curriculum across the kindergarten. Children have opportunities to speak te reo and learn about tikangā Māori in a naturally integrated way. Children's cultural identities and languages are recognised, valued and incorporated into the programmes.

Teachers are responsive and have an in-depth knowledge of each child. They regularly discuss children in relation to the Rudolf Steiner philosophy of learning and some aspects of the Te Whāriki Early Childhood Curriculum. They guide and facilitate children's play by adding carefully selected resources to extend children's interests and ideas. Teachers ensure that routines are flexible and centred on the needs of each child. Parents and whānau are welcomed and included in aspects of the programme, particularly festival celebrations.

Transitions into and within the kindergarten are flexible to meet the needs of the child and family. Most children in the kindergarten go on to attend the Rudolf Steiner school. A well-planned and supported process helps children to transition successfully into the school.

Teachers regularly engage in professional learning and development to build their practice. They have undertaken some useful internal evaluation which has led to better outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and ERO agree that the next steps to improve outcomes for children are to establish clearer roles and responsibilities related to leadership and management roles. Other priorities for improvement include:

ensuring consistency in the quality of centre practices and accountability related to that

  • strengthening the appraisal process and practices

  • improving the quality of learning assessment, planning and evaluation

  • strengthening internal evaluation

  • developing clearer systems for managing aspects of Health and Safety

  • promoting high quality teaching and a Steiner curriculum that relates to the 21st Century, particularly in Aotearoa NZ, and how well Te Whāriki is reflected across kindergarten practices.


ERO recommends that teachers increase their knowledge of how to consistently record the authorisation and administration of medications.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Christchurch Rudolf Steiner 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 Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer - Southern (Te Waipounamu)

25 August 2017

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, over the age of 2 years old

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 48

Boys 42

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

25 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

November 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.