Clarendon Kindergarten - 19/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Clarendon Kindergarten

How well placed is Clarendon Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Clarendon Kindergarten is Well Placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Clarendon Kindergarten provides early childhood education for children over two years of age.  The kindergarten provides extended morning sessions for up to 30 children. Five of the 19 children enrolled identify as Māori. The kindergarten roll has decreased since ERO's 2013 review and has become increasingly multi-cultural.

The kindergarten philosophy is underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Whāriki The Early Childhood Curriculum, and the Education Council's 'Our Code, Our Standards'. It promotes whanaungatanga and manaakitanga within the learning community. It states that the kindergarten values, affirms and is inclusive of all learners' cultural identity and ways of being. This document states the kindergarten's commitment to providing a holistic learning environment where tamariki are nurtured and supported to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes to be motivated, life-long learners.

The day-to-day operation of the kindergarten is managed by a long-serving head teacher who is supported by a qualified early childhood teacher, qualified relief teachers and parent help. The teachers have made very good progress to meet the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report. Internal evaluation, planning and assessment practices have improved.

Clarendon Kindergarten is one of 23 kindergartens administered by Kindergartens South (KS).  A general manager oversees the association under the governance of a board. Senior Teachers provide ongoing professional advice and guidance to each kindergarten and teaching team.

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in KS. 

The Review Findings

Children are building solid foundations for social and emotional competency for life and future learning. Teachers have an in-depth knowledge of children and their families. They use this information wisely to help children develop appropriate social skills.

Children demonstrate a sense of belonging and show respect for others and the environment. Teachers develop children's confidence and skills to discuss their feelings, and negotiate on rights, fairness and expectations. Children learn to value others' opinions and be inclusive in the way they play. Tuakana-teina relationships are strongly evident in children's interactions.

Children are becoming increasingly confident in their play, imagining, learning, experimenting and inventing. Teachers are becoming knowledgeable about children's learning and development, and are able to identify their various abilities, strengths, interests and needs. Children are growing in their ability to recognise print, symbols and concepts and how to use them in meaningful and purposeful ways.

Whānau opinions and participation are valued and actively sought as partners in children's learning. Teachers have high expectations of children and whānau. They successfully engage with whānau to understand their priorities for the curriculum and children's learning.

Priorities for children's learning are clear, and well linked to the kindergarten's philosophy, strategic goals and professional learning. Teachers are increasingly planning and enacting a curriculum that is motivating, enjoyable and accessible for all children. The new and personalised planning and assessment of children's learning clearly demonstrates assessment for learning and values parent aspirations. Internal evaluation is increasingly providing useful information about children's learning, their progress and next steps.

The spacious indoor and outdoor environments are well presented, and provide numerous opportunities for children to have fun, extend their learning and develop social and physical competencies. Children are settled and engaged in meaningful learning in a calm and unhurried environment.

The kindergarten programmes are inclusive, and provide many opportunities for all children to participate and make choices about their learning and wellbeing. Children are proud of their cultural heritages and are growing in the appreciation and use of te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers actively seek knowledge from parents about their culture and include this information in meaningful ways in the programme. Children with additional learning needs are well supported.

Since ERO’s 2017 reviews of kindergartens there have been significant changes within the association management and leadership team. Many of the good practices in place to support the kindergartens have been sustained. However ERO found that the board needs better information to know how well kindergartens are improving outcomes for children. The board also needs to review its own performance and review the roles and responsibilities within the association leadership and management team. 

Key Next Steps

The association and board have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • further develop the vision, values, philosophy and goals to better reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and te ao Māori perspectives
  • ensure reporting and monitoring at all levels is evaluative and shows how outcomes for children have been improved, especially for priority learners and in relation to the association’s valued outcomes, vision and philosophy
  • ensure there is a clear process for consulting with all parents and whānau Māori within the association
  • monitor the effectiveness of new initiatives
  • review the roles and responsibilities of leadership positions within the association, and review the performance and effectiveness of the board
  • review and update the complaints policy and procedure.

Teachers at the kindergarten have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • deepen internal evaluation and the spiral of inquiry to strongly focus on outcomes for children
  • consolidate the curriculum design, and assessment and planning for individual children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
Southern Region

19 February 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys:  11

Girls:   8

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

19 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

February 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.