Paihia-Waitangi Kindergarten - 13/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Paihia-Waitangi Kindergarten

How well placed is Paihia-Waitangi 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.


Paihia-Waitangi Kindergarten in Northland, is licensed to provide education and care for up to 30 children aged over two years. The kindergarten is part of the Northland Kindergarten Association (NKA), which provides a governance and management framework to support its operations.

The kindergarten offers some flexibility around session times and the number of days children can enrol for. Most children attend a six hour session similar to school hours, five days per week. The staff team includes three qualified teachers and an administrative assistant. A third of the children who attend are Māori.

The Waitangi Treaty grounds are nearby and provide a strong foundation for the kindergarten's philosophy. The philosophy documents the team's respect for Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa. It is important to the teaching team that all children are welcomed and offered the opportunity to learn through play in a stimulating, fun environment. Whānau are seen as valued partners in children's learning.

The 2012 ERO report highlighted many areas of strength in the kindergarten including the environment, programme planning, interactions and relationships, and quality teaching practices. These positive aspects are still very evident. Areas for development identified in ERO's report included enhancing resources, more opportunities for children to revisit their learning, and deepening children's learning. There have been positive responses to these next steps.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the Northland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's teaching philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children happily settle to play. Their strong sense of belonging is reflected in the way they play and interact with teachers and each other. The child-led, play-based programme supports children's independence and deeper engagement in their work and play.

Children are empowered to lead their own learning through skilled questioning and conversations with teachers. Each child's mana and uniqueness are respected and supported and they are seen as an integral part of the kindergarten community. Teachers value, and encourage children to use, the knowledge they bring with them.

The kindergarten's Pūmanawatanga Plan reflects its morale and tone and provides a foundation for the team's bicultural practice. Teachers respectfully validate te ao Māori and create opportunities for whānau Māori to voice their views. Learning about Māori theories and philosophies has assisted teachers to develop a culturally appropriate curriculum. Self review includes a focus on the impact that the kindergarten's bicultural curriculum is having on the community.

Parents are respected as partners and are encouraged to take an active role in their children's learning. Those who spoke to ERO expressed appreciation for the skills of the teaching team. They commented on the positive impact that the kindergarten programme is having on their children's learning and development.

Teachers are sensitive and responsive to the needs of individual children. They are quick to provide comfort and reassurance where needed. Teachers create an environment that enables children to learn skills, acquire knowledge and develop the confidence to try new things. Environmental sustainability is valued and promoted. Literacy, science and mathematics are included in the programme in ways that are relevant and meaningful for children.

Assessment processes build each child's identity as a successful learner, support the development of a strong Māori identity for Māori children, and support the cultural identity of all children. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is highly evident in documentation and in the programme. Children's portfolios show continuity of learning.

The quality of teachers' self review has improved significantly in the last year. Some reviews are ongoing and some are now resulting in positive outcomes for children. Association self-review processes are well used. The kindergarten's strategic plan aligns well with that of the Association and is continually reviewed and evaluated.

The Association's governance practices are effective. Its long-term direction continues to focus on continually improving learning outcomes for children. Positive strategies include:

very good support and guidance by Association personnel, especially in the development of culturally responsive practices and the integration of te ao Māori in ways that are meaningful for children

  • new teacher appraisal systems, and professional learning that focus more closely on improving team skills, knowledge and practice and more distributed leadership practices

regular head teacher meetings that provide opportunities for collegial discussion and support.

Key Next Steps

In order to enhance the high quality programme provided for children, the teaching team will continue to strengthen programme evaluation with the inclusion of reflections about how teaching practice has impacted on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Paihia-Waitangi 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.

To improve current practices, the Association should ensure that all kindergarten policy folders include updated policies and procedures that reflect all legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Paihia-Waitangi Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 October 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

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21 Boys 17

Ethnic composition



Cook Island








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

August 2016

Date of this report

13 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

February 2009

Education Review

February 2006

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.