Awatea Kindergarten - 16/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Awatea Kindergarten

How well placed is Awatea 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.


Awatea Kindergarten is in Porirua, Wellington. It was previously known as Mungavin Kindergarten. Since the April 2012 ERO report, a new teaching team led by a new head teacher, has been established. All teachers at this kindergarten are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy reflects the journey of Awarua, the taniwha of Porirua Harbour, and highlights the importance of relationships. The 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 delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 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 April 2012 ERO report for Awatea Kindergarten identified that curriculum leadership, self review and teaching and learning needed further development. These areas have been a priority for staff and considerable progress has been made. Internal evaluation remains an area requiring 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 enthusiastically participate in a programme which effectively responds to their diverse cultural backgrounds. They are learning to be self managing and independent. Strong relationships underpin the curriculum. Early literacy, mathematics and creativity are integrated into daily learning.

A well-considered and successful approach to raising participation in the local community is increasingly engaging parents and whānau. Teachers use a variety of methods to seek and respond to their input into the programme.

Wall displays are highly visible and successfully document the learning and planning happening for children. Strengthening assessment is an ongoing focus in the kindergarten and is leading to improved practice. ERO's evaluation affirms this focus. Particular emphasis should be given to the evaluation of children's learning.

Māori children's language, culture and identity are effectively fostered. Children are well supported to learn about te ao Māori. Teachers successfully encourage Pacific children's connections to their cultural identities.

The close proximity to Porirua School assists a cooperative relationship. Links with other schools have been established and help to promote experiences that assist children and their families as they move to school.

Children with special needs are well supported. Teachers work in collaboration with parents, whānau and outside agencies to develop goals to encourage their participation in the programme alongside their peers.

Since the 2012 ERO review, teachers' knowledge of self review has improved. This has led to better outcomes for children. The senior teacher, head teacher and staff recognise that the focus of internal evaluation should develop from investigating to knowing how well kindergarten practices support enhanced children's outcomes.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. They complete 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 previous report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. 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.

Key Next Steps

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

  • continue to strengthen the assessment and evaluation of children’s learning

  • further develop internal evaluation practices.

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

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Awatea 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 Awatea Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 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, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31, Girls 21

Ethnic composition




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

16 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

April 2012

Education Review

June 2008

Education Review

June 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.