Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave - 13/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave

How well placed is Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave is one of two preschools owned by an incorporated society and governed by a board of governance. It is licensed for 30 children, including eight under two year olds. The service's current roll is 44 children. Since the June 2015 ERO review, the service has been relicensed twice to allow for children under two years. This service works in partnership with Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street. Cotter Ave takes infants up to age three years, nine months then children progress to the Durham Street service.

Children at Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave play and learn in two main areas; the Teina room for children under two years and the Tuakana room for children over two years. Plans are in place for future extension of the centre's building.

The centre's philosophy for children includes the learning priorities of belonging|tangata whenuatanga, developing independence|motuhaketanga, respectful relationships|whakawhanaungatanga, risk taking and exploration|whakawhara and mana aotūroa, and resilience|manawaroa.

The centre is managed day-to-day by a professional leader and head teacher. The head teacher and teaching team are all new to this centre. Good progress has been made in the key next steps identified in the June 2015 ERO report. Documentation to support governance practices has been strengthened and teachers continue to focus on the impact of intentional teaching on children's learning.

The Review Findings

Relationships between teachers, leaders, parents and children are respectful, welcoming and inclusive. Parents are fully informed about their children's learning and progress, and centre programmes and operations. Children's care and learning are well supported by teachers. Their oral language is deliberately fostered, contributing to children's developing communication skills. This empowers children and promotes their increasing confidence.

Children's social competence is very well supported by teachers. Children are highly engaged in their play, cooperating positively with others and respecting their environment.

Children benefit from a wide range of resources which support and extend their interests and promote learning across a broad curriculum. The curriculum strongly reflects the Reggio Emilia approach and beliefs, and the centre's philosophy. The nature-based programme is providing well for older children. Through the programme that includes regular excursions, they discover and learn about the world around them and environmental sustainability. The well-established priorities for children's learning are well linked to the practices and programmes children experience and participate in.

Teachers have useful processes to assess and plan for children's learning. This includes regular updates about children's interests and learning, collaboration with parents and the teaching team. Children's interests are well supported and extended through group and individual learning programmes.

Children enjoy many opportunities to learn about and experience te ao Māori. Teachers are actively building their knowledge and skill in te reo Māori. Their use of te reo Māori with children is a growing strength. As a result, all children are learning more about Aotearoa New Zealand's bicultural heritage and Māori children can see that their culture is valued and celebrated. It will be useful for teachers to evaluate the extent to which children's language, culture and identity are reflected in children's profile books.

Children under two years are thoughtfully provided for. Their care and routines are consistent with home life are carefully managed by teachers. This supports their wellbeing and sense of belonging. With an increase in licence allocation for the number of children under two, it is timely to review how well the environment and practices are supporting the desired outcomes for these children.

Children's transitions into, through and onto the Durham Street service are well managed. These are flexible to meet children's needs. The many similarities in the learning programmes, approaches and teaching strategies between the two centres, support children's wellbeing, sense of belonging and 'seamless progression'.

Comprehensive internal evaluation leads to positive outcomes for children and teachers. Some key features of these evaluations include their range and depth, use of good practice indicators, inclusive data collection and collaborative completion. A culture of inquiry and responsiveness is well embedded and promoted by leaders and the management team.

The head teacher and professional leader have capably built a cohesive, collaborative and reflective teaching team. Leadership roles are deliberately shared. Newer staff benefit from the professional learning and support from more experienced teachers. Effective, strategic governance practices contribute to centre sustainability and improvement. Teachers and children benefit from the significant board resourcing. This is well used to enhance professional dialogue including planning and evaluating children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Managers and leaders agree with ERO's findings that that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • reflect on the way children's language, identity and culture are acknowledged in planning, assessment and evaluation

  • review the provision for children under two years.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave 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 (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

13 December 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


Arrowtown, Central Otago

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 24

Female 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


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

November 2019

Date of this report

13 December 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

April 2012

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.