Bulls Kindergarten - 31/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Bulls Kindergarten

Bulls Kindergarten How well placed isto 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.


Bulls Kindergarten is one of 24 administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 39 children aged over two years. Of the 67 children enrolled, 11 are Maori. All five teachers are qualified and registered. The kindergarten licence has recently been changed to include increased numbers of children and longer hours of operation.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises children's learning and respectful relationships, environmental sustainability and community involvement. Clearly articulated and shared values support enactment of the philosophy.

The November 2012 ERO report identified the need to increase teachers' responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of Māori children and promote all children's involvement in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Continuing to develop internal evaluation was also recommended. The kindergarten has responded positively to these areas to enable outcomes for children to be further strengthened.

Day-to-day management of the association's affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets overall strategic direction. The senior teacher provides professional leadership for teaching and learning. An operations manager supports kindergartens' compliance, policy development and leadership. A management restructure has been undertaken since the previous ERO reviews.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Ruahine Kindergartens 

The Review Findings

Children learn in surroundings that support meaningful and enjoyable exploration. The well-resourced environment offers challenge and interest, often within a natural and sustainable use context.

Children engage in free, uninterrupted play and investigation that encourages independence and extends learning. There are many opportunities for leadership, creative and imaginative play. Peer interactions are actively promoted. Children enjoy high levels of interest in learning activities.

Teachers have positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with children. They are attentive to children's needs and actively extend thinking and language. Emerging interests in literacy and mathematics are promoted within the context of play. Children with higher needs are well supported to participate fully in the programme alongside their peers.

Recent review has contributed to strengthening of curriculum links to whānau voice and kindergarten philosophy. Teachers collaboratively work to ensure the programme is responsive to children's learning and social development needs. They recognise and document children's knowledge, skills and dispositions. These are extended through dialogue and providing further relevant experiences. Children's profiles show how teachers deepen and increase the complexity of learning.

Māori concepts, knowledge and practices are integrated into the daily programme and portfolios. Whānau involvement in sessions and contribution to children's learning is valued. Teachers continue to extend their practices in supporting Māori learners' culture, language and identity.

Strong community support and involvement is a feature of the kindergarten. Teachers view each family and its knowledge of their child as an important contributor to the curriculum. An online programme enables families and whānau to contribute more effectively to their children's learning. The kindergarten responds to and involves parents in decision-making that is meaningful and benefits children.

Children's sense of belonging is nurtured during transition into the kindergarten. The development of positive social relationships with others are given priority for new children. Successful transition to school is well-considered and managed with care. It is supported by sharing of information and effective partnerships between families, the kindergarten and nearby schools.

Internal evaluation is well understood. It is used to inquire into the effectiveness of curriculum and care to improve outcomes for children. The collaborative, responsive approach to review contributes to shared understandings about teaching and learning, shared commitment to improvement and consistently good teacher practice.

Regular inquiry and team feedback contributes to teacher professional growth. The head teacher actively promotes critical reflection and enables teachers to take on meaningful leadership roles. Appraisal is comprehensive, reflective and improvement-focused. 

The kindergarten’s annual plan outlines priorities for the year linked to the association’s strategic goals of having high quality staff, coordinated services, and effective partnerships and operation. Progress is recorded and reflected upon in collaboration with the senior teacher and operations manager. Quality outcomes linked to agreed ‘wise practice’ are a useful addition to the annual plan. This should enable more effective monitoring of progress in relation to learning, teaching and outcomes for children.

The association provides effective governance and management support for this service. This includes:

  • constructive, improvement-focused support from the senior teacher
  • suitable quality assurance processes and guidelines, linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations
  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through the appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities
  • a variety of operational and administrative support.

Key Next Steps

Continuing use of effective internal evaluation should sustain and improve teaching and learning to enhance outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bulls 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 Bulls Kindergarten will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

31 March 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

39 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 37, Girls 30

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

February 2016

Date of this report

31 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

February 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.