Active Explorers Rolleston - 19/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Active Explorers Rolleston

How well placed is Active Explorers Rolleston 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.


Active Explorers Rolleston is part of the Evolve Education Group (EEG). It provides full-day education and care for up to 89 children, including 12 under two years. Children play and learn in three areas according to their age and readiness for the next area.

At the time of ERO's 2015 review, the service had recently been purchased by Evolve. The centre manager is long serving. Many of the staff are new. The centre manager oversees the day-to-day running of the service and she is supported by an assistant manager and a team of teachers. Most of the teachers are qualified early childhood teachers.

The EEG group area manager and curriculum leaders provide ongoing support and have oversight of the service.

Leaders, teachers and whānau have developed a guiding vision and philosophy for the service that reflects a commitment to 'partnership, participation and protection through their shared beliefs'.

Since 2017, good progress has been made to address the recommendations in the 2015 ERO report. This includes improved internal evaluation, staff appraisal, and assessment and planning processes.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

Outcomes for children's learning and wellbeing are improving significantly. This is supported by the manager's and teachers':

  • renewed focus on children's learning

  • deliberate involvement of parents in the centre and children's learning

  • increased commitment to including te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and supporting Māori to succeed as Māori.

There are a number of initiatives, and improved systems and practices that promote the service's valued outcomes for all children. This includes the following examples.

  • The new philosophy, valued outcomes and values give clear direction of what children should achieve and what needs to be in place for this to occur

  • The Evolve policies and procedures, while still very new, state clearly the expectations for children's wellbeing and learning

  • Professional development is closely aligned to the strategic plan goals and is well planned

  • Effective training and internal evaluation is building manager and staff capacity to identify what is going well and where improvements need to occur

  • Rigorous staff appraisal systems and practices identify where improvements need to occur and monitor progress in achieving the expected outcomes.

Evolve and centre managers effectively work together and share a vision for improving the service. They are successfully empowering staff to take responsibility, show leadership and build their professional knowledge and practice.

The EEG have developed a more coherent structure and strategic direction for the company. A strategic focus is to lift the quality of teaching and learning. Many new initiatives have been introduced to improve the effectiveness and monitor the quality of the services within the company.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for the EEG southern region are to ensure:

  • that the company vision, values, philosophy, goals and systems reflect and enact the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and are underpinned by te ao Māori perspectives
  • reporting and monitoring at all levels is evaluative and shows how outcomes for all children have been improved, especially in relation to the organisation’s vision, philosophy and valued outcomes

  • ongoing monitoring of the new initiatives and roles and responsibilities of personnel in positions of leadership.

Key next steps for Active Explorers Rolleston:

ERO's evaluation has identified, and the service managers agree, that the key next steps are to:

  • define and implement a rich, local curriculum that is consistent with Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum, the Treaty of Waitangi, and the centre philosophy and values

  • support the new teaching team in Ngā Whetū (2-4 year classroom) to review and improve the curriculum to ensure it meets the vision for a high quality curriculum for these children

  • continue to improve assessment, planning and evaluation for individuals and groups to ensure all children are achieving the valued outcomes, including celebrating children's culture, language and identity

  • continue to embed new initiatives to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and to build capability and sustainability

  • ensure reporting at all levels is evaluative and focuses on how well the centre is improving outcomes for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Active Explorers Rolleston 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 Active Explorers Rolleston will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

19 November 2018

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

89 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 43

Boys: 49

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


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

August 2018

Date of this report

19 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

June 2011

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.