Awapuni Kindergarten - 27/03/2013

1. Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The improvement-based teaching team supports the service to continue to be well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Situated in Palmerston North, the kindergarten offers education and care for up to thirty children, from 8.30am to 2.30pm three days a week, and until 12.45pm on two days. Sixteen percent of children identify as Māori.

The main focus of the programme is for children to develop a sense of belonging and respect for each other. Building understanding of a sustainable environment, including use of a thriving garden area, is frequently a context for learning activities.

Recent playground developments have established an attractive and inviting play environment that encourages fun and exploration. Children enthusiastically make use of this new area.

Effective relationships have been established with parents, whānau and the community. Continuing to extend these is a priority of the teachers. Steps are underway to establish the kindergarten as a community hub.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to the reviews of 25 early childhood education centres within the Ruahine Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the concepts of kotahitanga (community of learners), whanaungatanga (support for each other), manaakitanga (caring and sharing) and wairuatanga (respecting people’s beliefs). This philosophy is very evident in the programme, interactions and children’s developing abilities.

Learning programmes are responsive to the interests and needs of children. Teachers collaboratively respond to learning they recognise within individual and group play. Children are extended through questioning and the provision of extra resources.

  • Teachers agree a next step is to more regularly evaluate the impact of teaching decisions on children’s progress.

The well-resourced and calm environment is highly supportive of children’s wellbeing and participation in learning. Children are enthusiastic, busy and challenged. They make decisions, take responsibility, investigate and explore. Skills and attitudes are nurtured to enable them to become more independent and confident.

Child initiated, imaginative play is very evident. The programme supports sustained independent and small group play. Literacy and numeracy concepts are effectively interwoven into daily activities. Physical challenge is a feature of the outside environment.

Interactions are warm, encouraging and inclusive. Children play and learn cooperatively in groups of their own choosing. They manage their interactions with others confidently. Teachers are respectful and affirming and regard each child as competent. Children’s knowledge, culture and ideas are valued.

Bicultural practices are very apparent in the curriculum, physical environment and centre operations. A range of strategies successfully supports teachers' and children’s increasing knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

  • Teachers should continue to extend the opportunities within the programme to enhance the culture and identity of Māori children.

Portfolios are a detailed record of children’s growing competence, engagement and learning experiences. Individual stories include evidence of teachers extending children’s interests.

Responsive and respectful relationships, formed with families, support children’s sense of belonging and learning. Children’s progress is shared through newsletters, wall displays, portfolios and regular conversation. The perspective and expertise of parents and whānau Māori are valued and increasingly contributes to the programme. Teachers are looking to continue to build this involvement.

Close relationships with the nearby school and kōhango reo enable shared activities and events. This supports children’s transition to school.

Teachers and the association are committed to ongoing improvement. They make use of regular professional development opportunities to better understand and extend children’s learning. The performance management process for teachers is robust and involves collegial input and the identification of development goals. Support from the professional service managers is responsive and suitably focused on children’s learning.

The association’s framework for self review is sound and teachers receive support to implement it. Ongoing teacher and team reflection is evident. Although an appropriate process is in place, teachers agree they need to continue to develop self-review practices, particularly in relation to evaluating the effectiveness of education and care. This should further strengthen the quality of outcomes for children.

2. Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Awapuni 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.

3. Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

27 March 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 17

Male 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Choose an item.


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

27 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

May 2009

June 2005

April 1997

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.


Individual ERO school and early childhood service reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington.