Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten - 02/08/2013

1 Evaluation of Bell Block Pohutukawa Kindergarten

How well placed is Bell Block Pohutukawa 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.


Bell Block Pohutukawa Kindergarten is one of sixteen kindergartens managed by the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Senior teachers are employed by the association to support teaching and learning.

Four qualified and registered teachers, with one part-time, lead the programme under the guidance of a head teacher. Since ERO's August 2010 report, teachers have worked collaboratively to reflect the kindergarten philosophy of learning taking place 'in an environment of patience and understanding'. They are continually refining provision of an open-ended curriculum promoting children's interest, problem-solving and self-sustained learning.

The kindergarten is open five days per week and offers six-hour sessions. Families may also choose four or two-hour sessions according to their needs.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Board members undertake regular training and have developed useful processes to support governance roles and responsibilities. The senior teacher provides effective professional leadership. She visits the kindergarten regularly and works alongside the teaching team to support development of practice. These association processes help to promote positive outcomes for children.

Kindergarten management plans are aligned with association documents. The head teacher fosters a shared understanding of the philosophy, vision and goals within her team. Leadership among teachers is generally encouraged.

The service is welcoming to children, parents and whānau. Teachers encourage positive and respectful relationships in a calm, purposeful environment. Communications with children and parents are enjoyable and sustained. Teachers know children and their whānau well. Children are seen as confident learners and a strong sense of belonging is evident.

Children participate enthusiastically in a child-initiated and play-based programme and have fun as part of the learning process. Teachers are responsive to the diverse range of children's needs and interests and support them to achieve success. They use a narrative approach to show each child's engagement and developing friendships. They facilitate children’s development and understanding in literacy by focusing on print awareness. A bicultural curriculum is promoted through regular practice of tikanga Māori.

Teachers work closely with the families of children identified as having specific needs. Their participation and progress is supported through collaboration between the kindergarten, home and external agencies, and the inclusive culture.

Self review is valued. Sound use is beginning to be made of current best practice to support developing self-review processes. The staff appraisal is improvement-focused. Teachers have time for critical reflection on their effectiveness. Development goals focus on centre and individual teacher needs and interests. Teachers receive feedback to affirm and reinforce shifts in practice.

Key Next Steps

Continue developing capacity for evaluation and self review to promote teachers' inquiry into the impact of teaching practice on outcomes for children by:

  • strengthening assessment practices to more effectively highlight children’s progress over time
  • further developing teaching strategies for promoting learning success for Māori children as Māori.

The association should continue to review appraisal and consider formal critique of teaching practice and feedback processes to improve teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Bell Block Pohutukawa 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:

  • administration

  • health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • financial and property management.

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 Bell Block Pohutukawa Kindergarten will be in three years.


Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

2 August 2013

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

31 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 22

Girls 17

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



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

2 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2010


Education Review

February 2007


Education Review

June 2004

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.