Colwill Kindergarten - 20/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Colwill Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Colwill Kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Colwill Kindergarten in Massey provides high quality education and care for up to 30 children over two years of age. It offers six-hour days. Children and their families come from diverse cultures and some speak several languages.

The kindergarten's philosophy is based on teachers' belief that children are capable learners, and their aim to support children to become lifelong learners. Maintaining caring and respectful relationships with children and their families is a key aspect of the philosophy. Links to the wider community are well established Children regularly visit the bush in the adjacent school, to learn about the native bush of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The kindergarten is also a member of Te Kāhui Ako o Tiriwā, a community of learning.

Colwill Kindergarten has a history of positive ERO reviews. The 2014 ERO report noted effective leadership, positive learning relationships and children being highly engaged in their play. These good practices continue to be strongly evident. Promoting computer technologies and enhancing teachers' bicultural focus were areas for development. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The association provides a framework of policies and operational guidelines, support personnel and programmes of professional learning and development. The AKA is establishing new roles and responsibilities at management and governance levels. Recruitment of appropriate personnel to fill identified roles is underway.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the AKA.

The Review Findings

Children are regarded as capable learners who can lead their own learning. They arrive at the kindergarten enthusiastic about engaging in activities, and quickly find interests to explore. Children are articulate and readily converse with teachers and their peers. They work confidently and independently, or in culturally mixed groups, and benefit from a rich variety of accessible resources. Teachers' inclusive practices support children to respect and value others. Children with additional learning needs are warmly included. The diversity of the multicultural community is acknowledged, valued and celebrated.

Children have positive and friendly relationships with their teachers. Teachers are responsive to children’s developmental interests. They recognise that their youngest group is still becoming familiar with the resources and learning self-help skills. Older children engage in 'inquiry learning' through ongoing topics that support them to theorise, problem solve, negotiate and work collaboratively. They also develop tuakana/teina relationships with younger children and model strategies for independent learning.

Teachers provide high quality education and care for children. They skilfully prompt children to explore resources and the environment. Teachers use open questions to foster problem solving and provoke new ideas. They have high expectations that children will take learning risks, develop social competence and become familiar with te reo and tikanga Māori.

Children benefit from authentic opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy skills. They enjoy many experiences that support early learning in science and technology. Teachers use mat time activities, singing and story reading to support children's language acquisition. They also recognise the benefits of children using digital technologies as learning tools. Further development of this aspect of the curriculum is planned.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children's learning. Teachers respond to parents' aspirations for their children, and value the skills and knowledge that families share. They keep families well informed through frequent informal discussions, electronic communications, and attractive wall displays.

The kindergarten is well managed. The head teacher is an experienced leader. She values teachers' different strengths and interests, and shares responsibilities with them. Together they use the strategic action plan to achieve goals that align with AKA expectations. Teachers have established meaningful internal evaluation processes that include a regular review cycle, spontaneous review, and strategic evaluations that are sustained over time.

Teachers use relevant appraisal processes to identify professional goals. This helps them to be innovative and reflective in their teaching practice. They find the professional development offered by AKA useful and informative. This support has helped them to develop a vision and contribute to the priorities for the kindergarten.

Key Next Steps

Teachers' key next steps have been identified through internal evaluation and include:

  • continuing to contribute ideas to the kāhui ako

  • enhancing programme planning by including parent aspirations for their children's learning

  • continuing to use effective internal evaluation to sustain and improve current good practice.

It would be useful for AKA to:

  • monitor that all part time or relieving teachers are well informed about AKA policies and procedures

  • increase support to improve assessment practices, planning and evaluation

  • continue to support teachers to fully implement Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Colwill 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

20 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


Massey, Auckland

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

Girls 29 Boys 16

Ethnic composition

Pacific groups
other ethnic group


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

20 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

April 2008

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.