ACG Sunderland Preschool - 23/10/2019

1 Evaluation of ACG Sunderland Preschool

How well placed is ACG Sunderland Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ACG Sunderland Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


ACG Sunderland Preschool in Auckland is licensed for up to 24 children over two years of age. The preschool operates as part of the ACG Sunderland Academic College group complex and is situated on the school grounds. Most of the children from the preschool go on to attend Sunderland School and College.

The overarching Sunderland campus motto is 'aspire, succeed and respect'. These are interwoven into the preschool philosophy. The philosophy focuses on respecting cultural diversity and encouraging children to learn through play that is combined with structured and spontaneous activities.

Governance for the preschool is undertaken by the ACG Sunderland board. The senior management team is made up of key personnel from the preschool, school and college. The day-to-day operations of the preschool are delegated to the manager and assistant manager.

Since the 2015 ERO review a new manager and several staff have been appointed. Four of the five teachers have full teacher registration. Plans to build a new and larger preschool are in development.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in the preschool. Strong relationships are established between the preschool staff and the ACG Sunderland school and parent community. Children who attend the ACG Sunderland schools from the preschool are effectively supported to transition successfully into the school community.

Children are confident and capable learners. Friendships between children are evident. Children have opportunities to play independently and in collaborative groups. Some teachers speak children’s first languages, providing familiarity and comfort as children settle and learn.

Children have easy access to inside learning areas that are neatly presented, well-resourced and support children's involvement in the programme. Wall displays reflect children's learning experiences and their work.

Children have opportunities to hear and speak simple phrases in te reo Māori, and to learn about tikanga Māori in respectful ways. Teachers are continuing to develop their bicultural practices and understanding of te ao Māori. Teachers celebrate important multicultural events with children and families.

Teachers are reflective practitioners. They work collaboratively and meet regularly to plan activities and resources. Programme planning is theme-based. Many themes have science concepts with problem-solving and investigation skills interwoven into children’s learning. Early numeracy and literacy skills are evident in programme activities. Children benefit from regular educational and outdoor excursions. Parents are well informed about their children's interests and participation through online portfolios.

Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, guides the programme. There are good examples of teachers noticing, recognising and responding to children's interests. Children would benefit from this approach being consistent across all teaching and learning. It is timely to use Te Whāriki to continue to build educational partnerships with parents.

The experienced manager has focused on building a new team and knowing her staff. She is developing a shared understanding of the purpose of internal evaluation practices across the preschool. This includes developing a framework to develop consistency in evaluation and to help ensure sustainable practices and continued improvement.

The Sunderland governance board provides well-established systems, policies and practices which are consistently implemented and regularly monitored. An online teaching appraisal process is yet to be fully implemented. Sunderland Academic College group's overarching strategic and annual plans are tailored to guide the preschool's direction.

Key Next Steps

Managers agree the key next steps are to:

  • continue to build team practice by using teachers' strengths to grow collective responsibility for high quality teacher practice

  • embed the use of the on-line appraisal processes

  • further develop effective internal evaluation practices

  • continue to build learning partnerships with parents by developing a shared understanding of the preschool philosophy and how it relates to Te Whāriki.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ACG Sunderland Preschool 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

23 October 2019

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


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 16 Boys: 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

23 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.