Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street - 13/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street

How well placed is Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street is one of two preschools owned and administered by a not-for-profit community trust. The service is open 5 days each week from 8.30 to 3.30 for 33 children over the age of three. Most children progress into the Durham Street from the services other centre on Cotter Avenue, that provides education and care for younger children.

A professional leader/manager has overall responsibility for both services. A head teacher leads the teaching team. All the teachers at Durham Street are fully qualified and certified. Many are long serving.

Key values such as whanaungatanga, sustainability, creativity, and an appreciation and commitment to Te Ao Māori continue to be practiced. The programme is influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Creative arts and a nature-based programme are prominent components of children's learning in the centre.

Leaders, teachers and the governing board have effectively addressed the recommendations in ERO's 2015 report.

The Review Findings

Durham Street preschool continues to provide high quality early childhood education and care, for children. Teachers have established an inclusive, affirming and stimulating environment for learning that celebrates Māori culture and the natural world. Children settle well and are enthusiastic learners within an environment that supports their interests and respects them as unique individuals.

The rich broad curriculum and well-resourced environment offer stimulating opportunities that entice children, inspire ideas, and promote exploration and investigation. Children lead the learning and readily engage in research. Teachers use the children's interests to foster projects that grow and develop over time. They learn to see things within different cultural perspectives and their learning increases in depth and complexity in authentic contexts.

The centre's key priorities for children's learning are skilfully integrated into the daily programme. Teachers encourage children to be curious risk takers, to explore and learn about the world around them. Literacy learning, and mathematics are woven into projects as they develop. The teachers' emphasis on everyone working and learning together helps children grow their communication skills and social competence.

Teachers’ regular use of te reo Maori and their reference to Māori concepts and perspectives throughout the daily programme, and across the curriculum, is highly effective in building children's understanding of New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Bicultural learning is very evident. Children learn about Te Ao Māori through waiata, karakia, and the nature programme.

Children's transitions to school are effectively supported through clear communication with their families about what to expect that includes regular visits to the nearby school.

Shared leadership helps to build teachers' confidence and professional practice. Team members share strengths and interests, bringing their skills to the programme. These are valued and make a positive contribution to children's learning. Teachers regularly reflect on their teaching and children's learning as a team. They take the time to talk with children and family members to ensure the programme stays current and continues to extend children's interests and learning. Parents' perspectives remain a significant part of programme development and are highly valued. This collaborative approach contributes to ensuring children's cultures, identities, individual needs and interests are being regularly supported and extended.

A teaching culture of continuous improvement focused on outcomes for children’s learning is highly evident. Relevant, robust personal inquiry goals strongly support the building of formal and informal evaluation practices. As a result teachers have access to regular internal and external professional development that leads to positive outcomes for children.

The service is effectively governed and managed. Leaders work together with teachers and parents to provide the best possible environment for children to learn and grow. Systems are consultative, adaptive and responsive. Governance decisions focus on the needs of the community and are well informed by regular reports from leaders and the management team.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre leaders agree that the next step is to continue to improve alignment between the services key priorities for learning and the systems in place to support them. This should help when evaluating the services overall effectiveness in achieving intended outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Arrowtown Preschool Durham Street 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

33 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 23

Male 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

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

Education Review

May 2009

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.