Chilton St James Preschool - Waterloo - 09/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Chilton St James Preschool - Waterloo

How well placed is Chilton St James Preschool - Waterloo 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.


Chilton St James Preschool is situated in the grounds of Chilton St James School, a private Anglican school located in Waterloo, Lower Hutt. It provides early childhood education for children aged from two to five years, with a major focus on preparing them for entry into the primary school. The preschool is governed by the Chilton St James School board.

Since the 2013 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and the school management team has been restructured. The preschool extended its hours to meet the needs of families, resulting in an additional learning space for three-year-old children.

Day-to-day management is the responsibility of the head teacher of the preschool. She works closely with the principal and head of the primary school on the preschool operations and reports regularly to the school board.

The centre is fully authorised to conduct the International Baccalaureate Organisation Primary Years Programme (PYP). The curriculum and teachers' practice are led by the preschool head teacher and PYP coordinator. The programme follows an inquiry-led model which is part of the PYP within the school and incorporates Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Children in the preschool access the resources and facilities of the school, such as music and dance, physical education and the library.

The Review Findings

Aspects of the preschool’s philosophy are evident in practice. Children, their parents and whānau are warmly welcomed. Responsive and respectful relationships are formed with each family, supporting children’s sense of belonging. Teachers know children and their whānau well.

Children are confident and capable learners, happy to engage with adults. They are supported to enquire, be curious, and make choices and decisions. Children and teachers are seen as partners in learning. There is a strong focus on imaginative play where friendships are evident and teachers support children's social development.

The preschool curriculum has a strong focus on literacy, numeracy and science. Teachers foster children's language development through encouragement and respectful practices. Good use is made of cultural celebrations and family expertise to provide rich experiences for children. Language acquisition is supported, especially for those children for whom English is a second language.

Opportunities for children to develop leadership skills are carefully considered and woven into the programme. They are provided with feedback and acknowledged for their success. Teachers support children's sense of belonging, security and wellbeing.

The curriculum is guided by the PYP framework, Te Whāriki and children's interests. The inquiry model provides opportunities for teachers to effectively respond to children's interests and to support their social competencies. The school curriculum, including the preschool curriculum is currently under review.

Teachers are responsive to children with specific individual needs. They work collaboratively with parents, families and external agencies to support children's participation and engagement in learning.

There are regular opportunities for children to share their learning through child-lead interviews and assessment. Parents' aspirations are sought through enrolment and annual goal setting. Online portfolios include a mixture of children's learning experiences and interests. The use of e-portfolios as an assessment tool is in its early stages of implementation. There has been a strategic focus on strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation documentation. Teachers should continue to improve their planning for individual children to more clearly show how they extend their learning. This should include evaluating and inquiring into the effectiveness of teaching strategies.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are incorporated into practice. Strengthening teachers' cultural competencies and practices to better support Māori success which includes the language, culture and identity of children is a next step. The use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should further support this development.

Successful transitions into and within the preschool are well supported. Routines support children’s independence and transition to school. The preschool and primary head teachers work collaboratively to ensure the process is seamless. Children have regular opportunities to interact with school-age peers.

The head teacher is focussed on providing leadership and fostering collaborative ways of working. She is well supported by her staff, school principal and management team.

As a result of self review, the principal has identified that the appraisal process is not sufficiently robust. She has introduced an appraisal system to better support teacher development and endorsement of teaching practicing certificates. Ongoing evaluation to monitor its effectiveness is a next step.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that the key next steps for teachers are to continue to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation

  • strengthen te ao Māori in the curriculum

  • evaluate teacher appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Chilton St James Preschool - Waterloo 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 Chilton St James Preschool - Waterloo will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 June 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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31, Boys 16

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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

9 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

December 2006

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.