Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten - 05/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten

How well placed is Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten is licensed for 31 children. It provides care and education for children from two to five years of age. Of the total roll of 36, eleven children are Māori.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by Kindergarten Taranaki-Te Putahi Kura Pūhou o Taranaki (the association). A chief executive leads the association with three professional leaders who provide professional support and guidance to teachers.

The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff.

The January 2017 ERO report identified areas of practice requiring further development at kindergarten and association level. These included: assessment, planning and evaluation; the bicultural programme; promotion of te ao Māori; review and internal evaluation; strategic plan monitoring; appraisal; and the update of health and safety procedures and practices. The centre and association have responded well to these identified areas.

The service has received targeted support through the Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) to assist their improvement journey.

The Review Findings

Well-resourced indoor and outdoor spaces foster children's positive engagement in learning. The programme is clearly underpinned by the principles and strands of Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum. Children are independent explorers and cooperative learners who confidently communicate with their peers and adults. A rich range of learning experiences including literacy, mathematics and te ao Māori is evident.

Observations provide a useful basis for assessment and evaluation of individual’s learning and development within a group focus. Individual and group experiences are ably supported. Reflective journals are purposeful records of children's learning journeys in the programme. They include children's learning outcomes and links to parent and whānau aspirations. Individual learning stories, as the centre's assessment tool, show increased depth and breadth of experiences. An online platform has been introduced to invite parents and whānau contributions to their child's learning. The centre's planning and evaluation framework captures children's interests, preferences and needs well. Leaders identify that they need to deepen and embed these practices. ERO's evaluation confirms this direction.

Whanaungatanga and respectful relationships are highly valued between teachers, children, parents and whānau. A warm, inclusive atmosphere is supportive of children's wellbeing and learning. The culture, language and identity of children are made visible and celebrated.

Te ao Māori is strongly promoted, valued and well established in kindergarten practices. Māori expertise and whānau Māori input guides implementation of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Children meaningfully engage in culturally responsive learning experiences. Waiata Māori are popular and valued by the children. Tamariki Māori lead these with pride. Mana whenua landmarks and stories enrich children’s learning as they become narrators retelling the pūrakau, (local stories). Continuing to build further knowledge and understanding of culture and context is an identified next step for teachers.

Staff are proactive in identifying and supporting children with additional needs. The service accesses external agency input as required, to promote positive outcomes for these learners.

Transitions are well-considered. A partnership approach with two local schools is assisting to promote and address the needs of children to settle well in to new environments.

The staff appraisal process effectively supports teachers and leaders to grow their knowledge and skills. It has appropriate links to teacher inquiries, goals and the Standards for the Teaching Profession. Mentoring is guiding and developing individual teacher practice to improve outcomes for children.

Staff, leaders and individuals have engaged in focused professional learning to build their capability across centre operation. Internal evaluation processes are in place to support the systematic monitoring of progress towards achieving the kindergarten's desired goals. Further strengthening knowledge is required, to undertake in-depth internal evaluation, to better evidence the value of the review in improving children's outcomes.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers should continue to strengthen their:

  • knowledge and understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation to increase the depth and breadth of children's learning

  • capability to undertake in-depth internal evaluation to inform teacher practice and improve quality outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bell Block Pohutakawa 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 Bell Block Pohutakawa Kindergarten will be in three years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

5 March 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


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 24, Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

5 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2017

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

August 2010

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 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.