ELCM Alfriston College - 10/04/2015

1. Evaluation of ELCM Alfriston College

How well placed is ELCM Alfriston College 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.


ELCM Alfriston College is one of three full-day education and care services managed by the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA). The centre opened in 2009 and provides for up to 50 children over the age of two. The younger children are in the Pukeko room and older children are in the Kowhai room. Each room has easy access to its own outdoor area.

The many cultures of the children attending are also reflected in the staff. Most teachers and centre managers are qualified and registered teachers. The centre is adjacent to Alfriston College. Students from the college sometimes visit the centre when working towards secondary school qualifications that include studies relating to early childhood education.

The centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre and is assisted by the team leaders in each room. An operations manager is employed by CMKA to provide professional and educational leadership to the three centres. The CMKA vision and values, and its policies and procedures, provide a framework within which the centre operates.

The centre philosophy is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and teaching. It promotes children’s curiosity and inquiry, recognising the value of the environment to support learning. The philosophy also promotes respect for children and acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi and the cultures of the children who attend the centre.

This is the second ERO review of the centre. The 2012 ERO report commented positively on the provision for children and the leadership and management of the centre. Areas for development discussed during the 2012 review have been a focus for professional development by staff since that time.

The Review Findings

The centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Children have many opportunities to learn in an emotionally supportive environment. Staff encourage partnerships with parents and take an interest in the culture and identity of each family.

Children are able to make decisions about how they spend their time. They persist at tasks, often working collaboratively to solve problems and to inquire into their interests. They learn appropriate social skills and are confident when talking with adults. Children learn early literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge during their play with the support of their teachers. They are exposed to the use of te reo Māori regularly as teachers incorporate words and phrases in conversations.

Teachers work well as a team to provide very effective support for children’s learning. They listen to children, often asking open-ended questions that extend children’s interests. Interactions between teachers and children and among children are positive and respectful. Teachers allow children to take on new challenges in a safe environment. They are flexible in the routines so that play in not unnecessarily interrupted.

Teachers recognise the importance of the physical environment in promoting children’s learning through play. The indoor and outdoor areas are well organised and resourced so that children can access equipment easily. Deliberate steps have been taken to resource the centre with natural materials.

Transitions to, within, and from the centre are well managed. Children and their families are well supported when children are new to the centre. Children move from the Pukeko to the Kowhai room gradually and when they are ready. Contact has been made with the local schools and parents and children can access information about these schools at the centre. Teachers support parents to visit the schools, recognising that, for some parents, language could add a challenge to the visits.

Teachers have strengthened processes used to assess children’s learning and plan appropriate programmes. There is now a greater focus on individual children’s interests and dispositions. Parents are encouraged to contribute to assessment and planning. Staff are currently participating in, or have recently had, relevant professional development.

The centre is capably led and well supported by the CMKA. The manager promotes a team culture, giving all staff opportunities to be involved in self review and decision making. Staff have been involved in many self reviews, including a review of the centre’s philosophy. Self review is effective in leading to improvements in centre operations.

The appraisal of teachers is being strengthened to encourage greater self-reflection and sharing of thoughts on professional practice. Good systems are in place to support teacher registration processes. Professional development is provided in response to centre wide goals, individual appraisal goals and teacher’s interests.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps discussed during the review, and mentioned above, are areas that the centre is already working on.

During the review ERO and managers also discussed the benefits of strengthening strategic planning so that the work staff are engaged in is well documented in centre-based strategic planning that compliments the overarching strategic plan developed by CMKA.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ELCM Alfriston College 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 ELCM Alfriston College will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 April 2015

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


Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 40

Girls 33

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Middle Eastern














Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

10 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

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.