Bellmont Avenue Kindergarten - 16/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Bellmont Avenue Kindergarten

How well placed is Bellmont Avenue 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.


Bellmont Avenue Kindergarten is located in the suburb of Chartwell. It is one of 29 kindergartens in the Waikato region and is licensed for 30 children from two years to school age. At the time of this ERO review 37 children were enrolled, including nine who identify as Māori. The kindergarten also caters for families from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. The kindergarten offers full-day education and care and flexible attendance hours to meet the needs of families. All teachers are qualified and registered. The organisation provides 20 free hours for all children.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust, and does not operate for profit. The strategic direction of the association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Every child reaching their full potential’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending.

All kindergartens' in WKA are involved in sustainable programmes promoting the care of people and environment. These programmes include Enviroschools, Sport Waikato Under 5 Energise and a ‘Cool for School’ transition programme. A kaumātua from Tainui provides advice, guidance and support to the organisation. The kindergarten's education, operational and administrative responsibilities are well supported by association specialist personnel.

The kindergarten's shared philosophy utilises five whakataukī to reflect the strengths and values for best practice of each teacher. These are identified as priorities for the learning of children and underpin everyday practice.

Since the previous ERO review in 2014, all teachers and head teachers have been appointed. The new leader is in the early stages of addressing the identified areas for development from the 2014 report.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children experience trusting, respectful and responsive relationships with teachers. Teachers value each family's knowledge of their own children, which they consider when planning the programme. Families are warmly welcomed by teachers and open communication supports reciprocal and responsive relationships. Children's wairua (spirit) is nurtured through sensitively managed personalised transitions into the kindergarten. Children's well-being is fostered and they demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Children benefit from an inclusive, inviting and stimulating curriculum, where they are empowered to lead their own learning. They learn about sustainable practices and how to care for the environment and living world. Music is also a strong feature of the programme, supporting children's oral language development. Literacy and mathematics are naturally woven into the programme along with te reo and tikanga Māori. Tuakana/teina relationships provide opportunities for children to be leaders, using their strengths to support the learning of others. Children's learning is well supported by a curriculum that responds to their interests and strengths.

Children have many opportunities to engage in sustained play. Areas of play are very well designed and children have ready access to high quality equipment and resources. Teachers use effective learning conversations that make connections with prior learning and home experiences. Intentional teaching includes promoting children's social competence which supports them in their friendships and interactions with others. The Cool 4 School programme is thoughtfully integrated into children's play throughout the day. Learning summaries are written collaboratively with parents and well used to assist smooth transition to school. Children are learning in meaningful contexts.

Individual assessment portfolios, that are also available in electronic format, provide a valuable record of children’s participation and time at kindergarten. The teaching team now needs to embed the new planning, assessment and evaluation process to enhance children's individualised learning.

The partnership principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are highly valued. Teachers acknowledge Māori as tangata whenua. Partnerships are being established where families engage in decision making and set learning goals collaboratively with teachers. The kindergarten's values of mahi ngātahi (partnership), ngā taonga (treasures) and te mātauranga (knowledge) are highly evident in practice. Māori children are valued, including the knowledge they bring with them. Whakapapa is integral to the development of self, belonging and connectedness. Māori children are experiencing success in their learning as Māori.

A strength of teachers' practice is the normalising and the use of te reo Māori. Practice includes teachers modelling correct pronunciation and interweaving Māori protocols (kawa) throughout the daily programme. Learning in te reo is being transferred to home as children support families in learning the language. Children are capable and competent at understanding tikanga and speaking te reo Māori.

Diversity is embraced by teachers and children experience an inclusive environment. Teachers seek ways to maintain children’s connectedness to their first language. They work in partnership with parents and specialised services to provide individualised education programmes for all children that improve and enhance children's learning.

Effective internal evaluation practices are developing. Teachers have undertaken many emergent and planned reviews that have resulted in improved practices and positive outcomes for children. The recent review of the kindergarten's philosophy is a good starting point for embedding long-term systematic inquiry processes.

Leadership is effective. A shared approach maximises the strengths of the teaching team focused on growing their capacity. Leaders have developed a collaborative culture which is underpinned by shared values and beliefs.

The WKA provides sound, comprehensive systems, policies and procedures to guide kindergarten practice. Teachers have access to ongoing and targeted professional development to promote improved practice and contribute to positive outcomes for children. Education support managers work closely with the head teacher and provide well-informed professional leadership to support kindergarten operations. Effective governance by WKA is contributing to high-quality, inclusive and equitable services for children.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • develop annual goals, focused on positive outcomes for children, to facilitate the team in embedding highly effective long-term internal evaluation practices

  • further develop assessment, planning and evaluation processes to better reflect children's dispositions, learning and progress over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 February 2018

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

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 18

Ethnic composition



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

December 2017

Date of this report

16 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

December 2007

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.