Cornerstone Christian Early Learning Centre Aidanfield - 20/08/2013

1 Evaluation of Cornerstone Christian Early Learning Centre Aidanfield

How well placed is Cornerstone Christian Early Learning Centre Aidanfield 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.


Cornerstone Christian Early Learning Centre, Aidanfield is a privately owned, Christian-based pre-school that opened in 2011. It is managed by the Cornerstone Board of Management that also oversees another early learning centre, as well as a number of Christian schools. This is the first ERO report for this centre.

The centre is located next to, and has close links with, the local Christian-based school. It is a purpose-built centre and is well organised. The indoor space is attractive and there is good indoor/outdoor flow.

There are three fully qualified teachers and one in training. They provide all-day education and care for children aged from two and half years to school age. The centre is licensed for a maximum of 30 children.

The centre has developed strong links with the local community. Children and their whānau are warmly welcomed. Children’s cultures and Christian beliefs are acknowledged and celebrated.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled in the centre. They interact and relate positively with each other and with adults. Teachers have warm and respectful relationships with children and their families.

Teachers provide children with interesting and attractive resources which are easily accessible and well-laid out. Christian principles are clearly evident in the programme and learning areas. Literacy and numeracy are naturally included in the programme.

Children’s individual needs are identified and responded to in a positive and sensitive way by teachers. Teachers know children well and involve them in conversations about topics of interest.

Parents are encouraged to participate in the programme. They are kept informed about their child’s time at the centre and daily happenings in a range of different ways. Children moving within and from the centre have good support. The head teacher has regular contact and communication with teachers at the local school.

The teachers communicate effectively with each other to support children’s wellbeing. They frequently reflect on their teaching and share information about children’s needs and interests.

The head teacher and teachers have a thorough process to identify and review areas for improvement. The current review of the outdoor area is thorough and detailed. Parents and children are encouraged to provide suggestions for further development of this area.

The head teacher provides effective leadership and has good systems for health and safety. She has good support from the board and keeps them well informed of centre operations.

Key Next Steps

The head teacher has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next step for teachers is to make better use of individual assessments to further develop and strengthen programme planning and evaluation. This should include:

  • clearly identifying children’s learning so that teachers can plan a programme that is more focussed on individual children’s interests and capabilities.
  • showing the specific ways teachers extend children’s learning and development
  • evaluating the effect of teaching strategies on learning outcomes for children and the progress they are making over time.

The appraisal process could be strengthened by providing regular and formal feedback to teachers. This should also include clear next steps for extending their teaching and learning practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cornerstone Christian Early Learning Centre Aidanfield 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 Cornerstone Christian Early Learning Centre Aidanfield will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

20 August 2013

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


Halswell, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over the aged two years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26; Boys 22

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnicities





Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

20 August 2013

Most recent ERO report

First ERO review report


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.