Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd - 18/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd

How well placed is Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd 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.


Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd is a new full-day centre, located in the semi rural setting of Te Puna, near Tauranga. It provides extensive, modern, innovative spaces and facilities for children and teachers. It is designed to provide three age-based indoor and outdoor play spaces for children of different ages and stages of development. The building is inspired by and constructed to reflect the themes and philosophy written in’ Dr Seuss’ books, creating a unique and interesting learning environment.

The centre is owned by an experienced and qualified early education teacher, opened in March 2014 and is licensed for 80 children, including a maximum of 20 aged under two years. The current roll of 71 includes eight children of Māori descent.

The philosophy of the centre is based on ‘unconditional love for children’ and intentional support for children’s wellbeing. Teachers aim to provide a secure, calm and creative environment characterised by gentle and caring relationships and a high quality physical environment.

An educational leader oversees the day-to-day operation of the service and teachers are supported by a principal, who also works in the sister centre in Tauranga city.

Since opening, the roll has grown and management has strategically staffed the centre with dedicated teachers who are committed to promoting the special character of this service. At the time of this ERO review, five qualified early childhood teachers and two experienced unqualified staff were employed at the centre.

The Review Findings

Highly effective and professional leadership is being provided by the owner, principal and educational leader. They provide a strong clear vision, values and philosophy for centre development. Leaders have designed and implemented very effective and well-developed processes for self review and appraisal, as well as policy and procedural expectations. These processes focus on continual improvement to the quality of the environment, management systems and teaching practice. A shared leadership model is developing and teachers have opportunities to extend their skills in a variety of areas.

Centre leaders and teachers have established respectful, trusting relationships with parents and children. They are highly engaged in children’s play and responsive routines that encourage independence, security and self-management. Teachers are reflective practitioners. They critique and develop their practice to improve the programme and enhance learning outcomes for children.

The curriculum is clearly based on the goals and strands of Te Whāriki, with particular emphasis on developing a sense of belonging and wellbeing for children and their families. In addition, the programme is founded on an arts-based philosophy. Children are exposed to a wide range of creative arts and crafts including music, dance, drama, weaving, sculpting and painting.

Other learning strands such as science, literacy and mathematics, and te reo Māori are increasingly integrated into the art participation experiences for children.

Children were highly engaged, confident and settled in their play. They are encouraged to try new experiences, take risks, and engage in cooperative and social play. Teachers have successfully developed an effective assessment process, which is frequently shared with parents. Through the electronic portfolios, teachers assess children’s learning, plan ongoing experiences, and engage parents in their child’s education.

There is high quality provision for infants and toddlers. These children benefit from the involvement of key teachers who work consistently with babies and their parents to develop close bonds. The atmosphere is calm and unhurried with a home-like environment that is specifically designed for young children.

Key Next Steps

Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd is currently in a phase of continued growth and establishment. Management are committed to increasing the resourcing of the centre to meet the needs of the growing roll and programme objectives.

ERO and the centre agree that further development within the programme of the children’s language, culture and identity would enhance the richness of the philosophy and learning experiences for children.

In addition, there would be benefit in further developing teachers’ understanding and practice in relation to the implementation of the arts-based curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd 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 Above and Beyond Te Puna Ltd will be in three years. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

18 September 2015

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


Te Puna, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36 Girls 35

Ethnic composition





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

18 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.