Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten - 18/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten

How well placed is Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner 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.


Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is located in Taupo. It is licensed for 20 children over two years of age. The kindergarten’s guiding vision is 'Ngā tamariki, ngā rangatira mo āpōpō - Our children are our leaders of tomorrow'. The centre’s Steiner philosophy is defined as offering an unhurried and calm approach to early childhood education within a natural and secure environment that is welcoming, homely and nurturing. The kindergarten enjoys strong and supportive relationships with families. Kindergarten staff value the contribution of parents and whānau and see their input as an integral part of the daily life of the centre.

At the time of the ERO review, 35 children were attending, of whom 8 identified as Māori. Since the previous ERO review the leadership and teaching staff have remained consistent, and provided certainty and stability for children and their families. Teachers continue to provide meaningful learning experiences for children and have participated in ongoing professional learning and development to enhance their teaching practice.

In response to the areas for development in the 2012 ERO report, the head teacher has engaged in professional development to strengthen her use of te reo Māori and ways to promote tikanga practices in the programme.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is well embedded and understood by children, parents, whānau and staff and is enacted in the daily life of the centre. Flexible routines and rhythms of the day provide children with a secure, predictable and a calm environment that effectively supports children to develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. There is an emphasis on promoting creativity, the natural environment, and learning through meaningful work and play.

Children experience warm, positive interactions with each other and teachers. They are empowered to take responsibility for their own learning and well being. Opportunities are promoted for problem solving and exploration, and engagement in sustained, self-initiated play. Children have access to equipment and natural resources that they use in creative and interesting ways to extend their learning.

Teachers are highly skilled in engaging children in rich conversations and maximising learning opportunities. They model meaningful activities such as cooking, baking, gardening, and caring for animals. These activities are consistent with the Steiner philosophy of children learning through imitation and repetition.

Parents are actively involved in the life of the kindergarten. They appreciate the quality learning experiences their children receive and are very supportive of the work of the staff. They are kept informed through a range of forums and receive good information about their child’s learning and development.

Four Seasons Rudolph Steiner Kindergarten continues to provide strong governance and leadership. The directors have well-established systems for day-to-day management and operations. They have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and bring a range of relevant skills and expertise. Self-review practices have contributed to improved outcomes for children and the ongoing development and sustainability of the kindergarten.

Directors have a clear focus on, and commitment to, supporting teachers to grow their practice to further enhance outcomes for children. The head teacher is an effective professional leader and teacher and a positive role model and mentor for teachers and parents.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that the next step is to support all teachers to confidently integrate te reo and tikanga Māori practices into the learning programme. Teachers need to continue to explore ways to embed Ngā Tātaiako into the staff appraisal process.

As part of ongoing centre self review, consideration should be given to regular review of the Rudolf Steiner philosophy to further promote and extend positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner 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 Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

18 February 2016

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 17

Ethnic composition



South East Asian

Other European





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

December 2015

Date of this report

18 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 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.