Trentham Kindergarten - 29/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Trentham Kindergarten

How well placed is Trentham 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.


Trentham Kindergarten is in Upper Hutt. It is licensed to provide education and care, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Daily sessional places are available for up to 40 children aged two to five years.

The kindergarten philosophy highlights the importance of whanaungatanga - the inter relationships and connections between teachers, children and families. Teachers agree it is timely to review the philosophy to reflect the shared values and beliefs of the current teachers, whānau and children.

Trentham 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. This is the first review for this kindergarten since the merger.

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 Wellington 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. Its introduction within this and other ex-Rimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015 with each kindergarten adapting it to respond to their community.

The October 2013 ERO report for Trentham Kindergarten identified key next steps in relation to: assessment, planning and evaluation; success for Pacific children; and self review. The teaching team has made positive gains in responding to these areas that are an ongoing focus.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated.

The Review Findings

Teachers work well together to promote a child-centred programme with a strong emphasis on sustainability and the natural environment. A variety of useful experiences increases children's understanding of reading, writing and mathematics. Use of digital technology enhances programme opportunities. Children initiate conversations and interactions with their peers and adults. They are developing cooperative relationships through their engagement.

Assessment responds to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Documentation shows the engagement and progress of individuals. Teachers' analysis of observations are increasing their understanding of children’s learning pathways. They work collaboratively to develop and increase practices that reflect parents' aspirations for their child. Strategies to share good practice and develop consistency across the teaching team should continue to be refined and improved.

Transition into the kindergarten is flexible to meet the individual needs of children, parents and whānau. Teachers’ participation in cluster meetings with local schools and centres supports establishing and building closer links with a range of schools. This involvement helps children moving to school.

Teachers' actions and responses support participation of Māori and Pacific children and their families. Whanaungatanga and tikanga Māori continue to be embedded within teaching and learning. Teachers show a willingness to increase their capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity.

The supportive head teacher provides effective leadership. Staff take time for critical reflection on their practices. Development goals focus on kindergarten and individual teacher needs and interests. Internal evaluation systems help to maintain an environment that supports children's learning and development. Continued improvement and change in the kindergarten enhances aspects of practice and promotes positive outcomes for all learners.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback on agreed development priorities and the quality of teaching and learning. An annual internal evaluation supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

A strengthened appraisal model is being implemented across the kindergartens. This includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability, and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria. Leaders and teachers at Trentham Kindergarten should continue to strengthen their appraisal practice to enhance outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the senior teacher agree that teachers should be supported to continue:

  • refining and embedding assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide future teaching and learning
  • strengthening and embedding their understanding and use of internal evaluation.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

29 May 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


Upper Hutt

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 28, Girls 16

Ethnic composition





Other ethnic groups






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

April 2017

Date of this report

29 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

January 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.