Feilding Kindergarten - 22/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Feilding Kindergarten

Feilding Kindergarten How well placed isto 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.


Feilding Kindergarten is one of 24 administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Many children begin attending the service at close to two years of age. Of the 35 children enrolled, nine are Māori. All teachers are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of responsive, reciprocal relationships that support children to become capable and competent learners. Teachers access additional funding to provide children and families with extra-curricular experiences within the kindergarten and the wider community.

The October 2012 ERO report identified that teachers’ understanding and use of self review and opportunities within the programme for acknowledging the culture, language and identity of Māori children, needed further development. Professional support by the senior teacher has been provided to improve this aspect of practice and progress is evident.

Day-to-day management of the association’s affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets overall strategic direction. The senior teacher provides professional leadership for teaching and learning. An operations manager supports kindergartens’ compliance, policy development and leadership. A management restructure has been undertaken since the previous ERO reviews.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews of the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children learn in an environment that supports meaningful and enjoyable exploration. They engage in free, uninterrupted play and investigation that encourages independence and extends learning. Children’s emerging interests in literacy and numeracy are well considered within the context of play, both indoors and outside.

Profiles provide a useful record of participation and enjoyment in learning of groups and individual learners. An on-line programme increasingly records teachers' and parents' communication about children’s assessment, progress and achievements. Teachers view each family and its knowledge of their child as an important part of the kindergarten’s learning community.

Teachers work collaboratively to strengthen and improve consistency of teaching and learning practices. Daily discussions and regular planning meetings support these ongoing developments. Teachers are aware of the need to continue to develop assessment, planning and evaluation processes and documentation of children’s learning. A recently introduced planning sheet has potential for supporting teachers to formally evaluate programmes and enhance outcomes for children.

Teachers recently revisited the kindergarten's philosophy and have a clear focus on ensuring teaching practice and the environment reflect the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They share values that encourage respectful behaviour and support children's developing social competencies. Staff observe and closely monitor children with diverse needs. They work in partnership with parents and whānau to develop individual learning plans.

The environment reflects the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand in a variety of ways. The outdoor area, with well-integrated natural materials, has been designed collaboratively. It shows a strong bicultural commitment, is aesthetically appealing and supports sustainable practices. Children engage with the living world in authentic and meaningful ways.

Children have opportunities to experience te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices incidentally within the programme. Teachers continue to extend their knowledge and understanding in giving significance to Māori learners’ culture, language and identity.

Transition to school focuses on children feeling well supported and confident in a new situation. Kindergarten teachers support families with information and discussion. Positive relationships have been developed with the local school.

The head teacher provides collaborative leadership and values the skills and knowledge of the teaching team. Teachers are very reflective and improvement focused. Sound use is beginning to be made of current best practice to support developing internal evaluation processes.

The kindergarten’s annual plan outlines priorities for the year linked to the association’s strategic goals of having high quality staff, coordinated services, effective partnerships and operations. Progress is recorded and reflected upon in collaboration with the senior teacher and operations manager. Quality outcomes linked to agreed ‘wise practice’ are a useful addition to the annual plan. This should enable more effective monitoring of progress in relation to learning, teaching and outcomes for children.

Some progress has been made in integrating a bicultural perspective into the programme. Association leaders agree, implementation of bicultural curriculum and promotion of success for Māori as Māori need further development. The recently revised Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy, the ‘Wise Practice’ document, and the establishment of enduring connections with mana whenua should support these aspects of practice.

The association provides effective governance and management support for this service. This includes:

  • constructive and improvement-focused support from the senior teacher
  • suitable quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations
  • a variety of operational and administrative support
  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree, teachers should be supported to continue to develop:

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation to enhance teaching and learning
  • the bicultural curriculum and promotion of success for Māori as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 March 2016

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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 19, Boys 16

Ethnic composition



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

February 2016

Date of this report

22 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

February 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.