Ascot Park Kindergarten - 24/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Ascot Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Ascot Park Kindergarten 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.


Ascot Park Kindergarten is in Porirua, Wellington. The service caters for up to 40 children. Of the 61 children enrolled, 24 are Māori and 14 are of Pacific heritage.

Since the 2012 ERO report, hours of operation have changed and a full-day service now operates for children from two years to school age. Currently there is one full time head teacher and four part-time staff. All five teachers are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy is based on children experiencing a learning environment that is respectful and affirms their language, culture and identity. It promotes independence, manaakitanga, inclusive practices and positive relationships. Partnerships with whānau are a priority.

Ascot Park Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have responsibility for kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In May 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning.

The previous ERO report for Ascot Park Kindergarten identified that self review, assessment, planning and evaluation, teaching strategies and responding more effectively to parent aspirations needed further development.

Areas where the association could strengthen its support for teachers were also identified and positive progress has occurred. The alignment of individual kindergartens’ annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities have now been appropriately addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children are encouraged to explore, take risks and be nurturers. They demonstrate sustained engagement in the programme. Children respectfully and positively relate to their peers and adults and are viewed as confident and capable communicators. They are encouraged to self-manage and lead their learning.

Individual interests and strengths and parent aspirations inform the kindergarten curriculum. Teachers, children and families know each other well. Parents are welcomed and have opportunities to contribute to their children's learning.

There is an emphasis on literacy, maths and science development. Children's wellbeing is supported through building social competencies. A clear focus on healthy foods and physical activity is encouraged through flexible and responsive food routines. The recently redeveloped outside environment provides increased challenge and access to resources that promote physical development.

Children with diverse learning needs engage in a programme and environment that affirms them as individuals. Teachers skilfully and sensitively support children. External agencies are accessed to strengthen inclusive practices.

Māori children's culture, language and identity are validated and affirmed. The curriculum reflects the kindergarten's commitment to te ao Māori. Concepts of ako, manaakitanga, whakapapa and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident. A relationship with the local marae has been established. Māori staff and kaumatua expertise lead and guide kindergarten practices.

Teachers identify that further development is needed to build their knowledge and understanding of the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 for Pacific children and their families. The next step is for the curriculum to better reflect the ethnicities of all children who attend the kindergarten.

Portfolios are attractive and inviting for children and parents. They reflect each child's learning and progress over time, and, at times, next steps. These records need to better reflect the depth and breadth of learning. Further developing teacher's assessment, planning and evaluation is a next step.

The kindergarten provides parents and whānau with information to support children's transition to school. Staff should continue to strengthen relationships with local schools.

Strengthening kindergarten professional leadership to support improved outcomes for children is a key next step. The senior teacher is providing suitable guidance.

Self review is used to make positive changes and improvements for children and their families. ERO agrees with leaders, that teachers need to continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal process. Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

The introduction of the revised appraisal system acknowledges individual teachers' strengths and development. A next step is for leaders to provide evaluative input to better support building teacher capability in the appraisal process.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Ascot Park Kindergarten:

  • affirm and reflect the culture, language and identity for all children in the curriculum

  • further develop assessment, planning and evaluation of individual children's learning

  • ensure leaders provide evaluative input to build teacher capability in the appraisal process

  • continue to build leadership in the centre

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ascot Park 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ascot Park Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 May 2016

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

40 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 35, Girls 26

Ethnic composition




Cook Island



Other ethnic groups








Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

July 2008

Education Review

July 2005

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.