Arohanui Kindergarten - 07/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Arohanui Kindergarten

How well placed is Arohanui Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Arohanui Kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Arohanui Kindergarten provides all-day education and care for 31 children, including 20 aged up to two years. The service is located within the grounds of Waiopehu College, and shares a building with the student facility Poipoia, an educational service for teenage mothers and female adult students. The kindergarten primarily serves the children of Poipoia students, and also receives enrolments from the wider community. Almost two thirds of the roll at the time of this review identify as Māori.

Poipoia and Arohanui Kindergarten share a focus on 'Whānau wellbeing through education and care.' The kindergarten's philosophy outlines the values of whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga, tangata whenuatanga, kotahitanga, manaakitanga and whakapiringatanga. Emphasis is given to learning through relationships, empowerment and community.

The kindergarten is a member of the Horowhenua Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Since the June 2015 ERO report, a new head teacher has been appointed. All teachers are fully qualified.

Arohanui Kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). A team of senior teachers oversee and support the professional practice of the teaching team. The association governs 102 kindergartens which includes three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service with two networks.

ERO's June 2015 report identified areas requiring further development. These included assessment, planning and evaluation and self review. Good progress has been made in these areas.

Progress has been made by the association to improve the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

This review was one of four in He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association in Levin.

The Review Findings

Children confidently lead their learning within a calm, home-like environment. Their wellbeing and learning dispositions are prioritised in warm and responsive interactions with their teachers. Opportunities to learn about numeracy and literacy are naturally integrated into play. Effective, intentional strategies are used to build on children’s interests and working theories, and to extend their thinking.

Children with diverse learning needs are supported through attentive assessment and planning processes. Planning for their progress is done in liaison with whānau and external agencies.

Infants and toddlers are offered calm spaces to explore at their own pace. They benefit from close, nurturing relationships with teachers. Attentive caregiving enables teachers to respond sensitively to each child's cues, changing needs and preferences. A sense of aroha is strongly and effectively promoted.

Strong communication and information-sharing supports cohesion, collaboration and ako between parents and teachers. Whānau are valued as key partners in their child's teaching and learning journey. They are well supported to build a strong sense of belonging within the environment, and regularly join their children throughout the day. Their aspirations are prioritised in assessment and planning practices.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is woven naturally throughout interactions and documentation, supporting all children's understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand's bicultural heritage. A recent focus on gathering and documenting information about children’s unique cultures, languages and identities is supporting teachers to further enrich their strategies. Well-considered changes to planning processes and the environment have been implemented. Professional learning about culturally responsive strategies, including for Pacific children, is underway. As teachers continue to build these practices, this targeted teaching and learning should be made increasingly evident in children’s assessment portfolios.

Transitions into the kindergarten and on to school are well supported. Teachers use a range of effective, collaborative strategies to build the confidence of children and their families at transition times.

Strong, effective leadership is a key strength. Strategic actions have successfully built a culture of cohesion, collective improvement and professional critique. Team dynamics are positive and child-focused. Teachers are very well supported to continually grow and share their understandings.

Partnership and collaboration between the teachers and the Poipoia facility are clearly evident. Together they access a range of community resources to support the hauora and holistic wellbeing of families.

The association's governing documents guide teacher practice. These are appropriately used by leaders and teachers to plan and analyse practice, support assessment and underpin decision making.

Teachers are strongly reflective and improvement-focused. They have purposefully grown their understanding and capacity to conduct internal evaluations of their practice. Leaders agree that these processes should be further strengthened. Further refinement of indicators of success, through more consistently focusing on measurable outcomes for children, should enhance practice.

A well-considered appraisal process has recently been enhanced to grow and develop teacher practice. Teachers are expected to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Purposeful appraisal goals focus on improving aspects of leadership and practice to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

The senior teaching team is reflective and highly improvement focused. Leaders successfully foster a collective sense of responsibility to implement the vision, values and mission of the association. Systems and processes have been well developed to guide teacher capability and positively impact on children’s learning.

Senior leaders work effectively together, with a shared commitment to meeting strategic goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Well-considered resource allocation supports and enhances children’s learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

Arohanui Kindergarten leaders and teachers have the capacity to monitor quality and self-identify useful next steps, through the application of ongoing, outcome-focused internal evaluation.

ERO and senior leaders agree that the association's next step is to:

  • continue to follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi based Strategic Priority Framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Arohanui 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

7 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

31 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 14, Girls 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

7 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 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.