Dannemora Kindergarten - 21/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Dannemora Kindergarten

How well placed is Dannemora Kindergarten 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.


Dannemora Kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. It offers six-hour days and serves a culturally diverse community in East Auckland. Many children have English as an additional language.

The kindergarten is staffed by a head teacher and three other registered teachers, a teaching assistant and an administrator. Teachers have maintained positive connections with local schools, community and social service agencies.

The kindergarten's philosophy embraces Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and integrates aspects of te ao Māori. It encapsulates the benefits of encouraging children to take risks, challenge themselves and develop a passion for learning. Teachers have enriched their bicultural practices through engagement in the Whakamanawa and Tātaiako professional development programmes.

The kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history. Teachers have sustained the good quality practices noted in ERO’s 2015 report. Children continue to be well supported in their learning in a stimulating environment.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The AKA has a range of specialist personnel who assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of change for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA’s operational practices, leadership and management.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children learn in an exciting and attractive learning environment that promotes deep thinking, wondering and creativity. Carefully defined and very well resourced play areas support children’s engagement in sustained play. Displays and equipment reflect teachers’ respect for te ao Māori, children’s cultural backgrounds and learning needs. The attractively landscaped outdoor area, provides good opportunities for children to be physically active and to learn about Papatuānuku.

Children are capable, competent learners and have fun as they explore, share ideas and problem solve. They are confident communicators, some in more than one language, and show collaboration and resilience in play. Children's leadership and independence are encouraged, as is taking responsibility for self and others. Tuakana/teina relationships are evident in children's interactions with others.

Teachers are culturally responsive and strive to foster a strong sense of belonging in all children. They affirm and build on the strengths children bring and are inclusive of children with additional needs. Teachers' respectful and skilful interactions support children to build on their own ideas, language and interests in play and discussion. Creative expression through music, art, dance and drama is nurtured. Teachers integrate experiences that enable children to include literacy, mathematics, science and technologies as part of their play.

Curriculum planning and implementation are founded on Te Whāriki, bicultural practices and the teachers' philosophy. Programme planning is responsive to children’s interests and dispositions as well as parent aspirations. The high value placed on children's learning through play is evident in teachers' practice and kindergarten documents. Children’s portfolios are highly valued, include their input and are often added to by families. Online communication including e-portfolios, has increased opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute to their children’s learning.

Respect for te ao Māori is highly visible in the kindergarten. Teachers work collaboratively with whānau and community to celebrate the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Māori children’s cultural identity is affirmed. Teachers naturally include te reo Māori in routines and conversations, as well as in waiata and dance. Their engagement in the Whakamanawa programme continues to have a very positive impact on the programme and with children. Teachers continue to enhance their very good practices.

Well established internal evaluation guides decision-making and ongoing improvements. Teachers are reflective and knowledgeable about current research and theories. As a team, they work within a culture of shared leadership and relational trust. The impact of professional development has resulted in teachers' Tiriti based practices being clearly evident.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development and supporting teachers' interests. AKA has specific processes for ensuring that children with additional needs receive appropriate learning support. They have good systems in place to support children and whānau with health and wellbeing needs.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive kindergarten plan and a shared vision that are linked to AKA strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure and to improve consistency and coherence across internal evaluation, quality assurance and improvement systems, and strategic planning.

Key Next Steps

The head teacher and teachers have identified some useful next steps. These include

  • ontinue to building on and recording opportunities for children to lead their own learning

  • continuing to strengthen internal evaluation through deeper, more evaluative analysis and a focus on the effectiveness and impact of teaching practices and curriculum decisions

  • enhancing processes for supporting children's transition to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Dannemora 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.

Since the onsite stage of the review the AKA has worked with the staff to ensure that all health and safety procedures are robust and implemented consistently.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Dannemora Kindergarten will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 June 2018

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


Dannemora, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Middle Eastern


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

21 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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.