Bethlehem College Kindergarten - 11/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Bethlehem College Kindergarten

How well placed is Bethlehem College 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.


Bethlehem College Kindergarten is located in Tauranga, on the campus operated by the Christian Education Trust. It is one of five centres that operate under the umbrella of the Bethlehem Early Learning Centres Ltd. The kindergarten shares the same grounds as the Bethlehem College campus. It provides full day education and care for up to 43 children aged over two years of age.

Teachers have a shared commitment to, and understanding of their service's values. They believe that ‘every child is special and unique and therefore will be respected, accepted, nurtured, and supported to progress towards their God given potential.’ Christian values and virtues underpin all aspects of centre operations.

Since the last ERO review in 2011 a new head teacher has been appointed and staffing has remained consistent, providing continuity for children and families. Staff are well supported by an experienced centre manager who oversees all five centres and reports regularly to the board of directors about centre operations.

Teachers are supported to grow their professional knowledge and have many opportunities to engage in professional development courses. Teachers’ current focus has been on developing the centre’s bicultural curriculum. They have undertaken professional development and are currently introducing practices that promote a Māori world view.

The kindergarten has had a positive reporting history with ERO. Children continue to benefit from the high level of qualified teachers and quality adult-to-child ratios that exceed the minimum standards recommended by the Ministry of Education.

The Review Findings

Children learn in a high-quality and well-organised environment. They have access to extensive resources that promote self-directed exploration and play. There is ample space for them to work independently, or collaboratively in groups. Both the indoor and outdoor environments are interesting and challenging, catering for the wide range of abilities and interests of children.

Children develop a sense of belonging at the kindergarten. They develop a belief in themselves as capable, competent learners, and their emotional wellbeing and independence are strongly promoted. Children have many opportunities to develop friendships with others. They engage in sustained learning experiences through self-motivated exploration and investigation. Transition-to-school processes are managed well by the teachers, and children enjoy access to the school pool, library and reciprocal visits between the kindergarten and school.

Teachers have established close, trusting and respectful relationships with children and their families. Communication is open and transparent, and families are welcome to stay and participate in their child’s education. Portfolios are shared with children and families, and celebrate the successes and learning of children over time. Teachers use a good range of strategies to support children’s learning. They are responsive to teachable moments and extend children’s thinking and knowledge during their conversations. Children are encouraged to problem solve, be creative, and to use their imagination.

Strengths of the curriculum include:

  • programme planning focused on extending children’s learning through their interests and strengths
  • the use of the local and wider community to enrich and extend learning
  • an inclusive programme that embraces and values diversity
  • literacy and mathematics being meaningfully implemented through children’s interests and play
  • opportunities for children to learn to care for centre pets.

Self-review processes are well developed, clear and purposeful. Teachers use spontaneous and planned reflections to review the quality of teaching and learning. There is a strong focus on improving practice that promotes positive learning outcomes for children.

The head teacher fosters a collaborative approach to decision making with her teaching team. Parents appreciate the opportunities to network with one another, and value the positive relationship they have with kindergarten teachers.

Key Next Steps

The service's leadership team agree to continue to develop their bicultural practices. This should further enhance the curriculum and learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer-Northern

11 February 2015

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31

Boys 24

Ethnic composition

















Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

11 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011


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.