Parkland Kindergarten - 11/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Parkland Kindergarten

How well placed is Parkland 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.


Parkland Kindergarten is one of 24 administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Of the 53 children enrolled, three are Māori. All five teachers are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of relationships, lifelong skills, exploration and love of learning. During ERO’s observations of the programme in action these aspects were very evident.

The November 2012 ERO review identified that planning and assessment processes could be strengthened by more effectively highlighting progress over time. Professional support has assisted the service to build this aspect of practice. Teachers have also developed their knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Dayto-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 is one of a cluster of five reviews of Ruahine Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Ongoing development within the indoor and outdoor environments have successfully extended the opportunities for challenge, creativity and exploration. The well-resourced and attractive environment provides a wide range of meaningful activities that invite investigation and participation. Learning experiences promoting environmental sustainability are further extending opportunities for children.

Interesting spaces and a variety of well-presented materials and equipment enable children to have choice in their learning. Self-management and individual decision-making is fostered. High levels of sustained involvement in learning activities are apparent. Children are well-engaged, independent learners.

The service has a purposeful, calm tone. Constructive and respectful relationships support the positive play and learning of children. They actively explore, clarify their understanding and have fun alongside other children and their teachers. Parents and whānau are welcomed and encouraged to be involved in their children’s learning.

Literacy and mathematical skills and understanding is extended through relevant, interesting opportunities within the everyday programme. Children use digital technologies as an integral part of their learning.

The programme is responsive to individual children’s interests and learning needs. Planning includes building learning competencies and the use of intentional teaching strategies. Portfolios record children’s active participation in a range of activities. An online computer programme is effectively used to share children’s learning and progress.

Teachers should continue to increase the emphasis in planning and assessment on significant learning and how intentional strategies are contributing to children’s progress. Deliberately responding to parent aspirations for their children should also be a continuing focus.

Some progress has been made in developing a bicultural perspective in the programme. This is supported by the growing environmental focus, consideration of bicultural values and some teacher development goals. 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.

Transition to school is effectively supported by a close partnership with the adjacent school. Regular opportunities to be part of shared activities assists children to be more confident about the move to new entrant classes.

The teaching team is reflective, enthusiastic and works collaboratively to support positive outcomes for children. Teachers are well supported by the experienced head teacher to take on leadership roles and develop their practice.

A suitable model to support understanding and the use of internal evaluation is in place. Reference to indicators of best practice assists the service to consider its own effectiveness. Recent review of planning, assessment and the mathematics programme have identified ways to continue to improve outcomes for children.

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’ should be a useful addition to the annual plan. This should enable more effective monitoring of progress in relation to learning, teaching and outcomes for children.

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.

Developing and implementing appraisal for the senior teacher and operations manager is a priority.

Key Next Steps

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

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • implementation of a bicultural curriculum and promotion of success for Māori as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

11 February 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


Palmerston North

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

Boys 29, Girls 24

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic group





Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

11 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2012


Education Review

June 2009


Education Review

March 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.