Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten - 31/07/2019

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

Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Four Seasons Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is located in Taupo. It is licensed for 30 tamariki over the age of two years. The current roll of 39 children includes six who identify as Māori. The kindergarten is privately owned and is governed by a board of directors. One of the four directors is the lead kaiako, and one is the manager. The kindergarten employs four qualified kaiako, three are fully registered and one is provisional. The lead kaiako also holds a Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education and another is nearing completion of this qualification.

The kindergarten's guiding vision is 'Ngā tamariki, ngā rangatira mō āpōpō - Our children are our leaders of tomorrow'. The centre philosophy aims to promote an unhurried approach, providing a safe and secure environment that is homely, nurturing and sustainable.

Since the 2016 ERO review, the centre license has increased from 20 to 30 tamariki, and a fourth kaiako appointed. Upgrades to the centre facilities have been implemented, and there is an improved understanding and integration of te reo and tikanga Māori.

The Review Findings

Tamariki experience respectful and positive relationships that are highly affirming. Their interests are followed closely and children lead their own play and learning. Relationships between tamariki are supported by a strong tuākana teina approach developing a positive sense of self. Parents and whānau enjoy reciprocal relationships with the kindergarten that support their learning aspirations for their tamariki. Tamariki are encouraged to learn in a calm and nurturing environment that fosters their sense of curiosity, belonging and wellbeing. They are supported to become leaders and are seen as capable and self-managing learners.

The enactment of the Rudolf Steiner philosophy through the curriculum effectively supports a strong culture for inclusive and responsive learning. The needs of tamariki are well known and they are seen as capable and competent risk takers who can set their own challenges. They are empowered to be confident and competent learners through active exploration of the natural environment. Literacy and numeracy are well integrated and promoted through daily and seasonal rituals, rhythms and repetition. A child-led learning approach is promoted and empowers tamariki to make choices and decisions. Planning and assessment effectively capture the learning and development of tamariki. To further strengthen evaluation practices, teachers should make more explicit links to parents learning aspirations for their tamariki over time.

Success for Māori tamariki to achieve success as Māori is effectively promoted. There has been a deliberate and effective approach to embed te ao Māori consistently across the centre. Karakia and waiata are used to support tikanga Māori and te reo is visible and heard in the centre. To further strengthen this, deepening connections with local iwi should be a natural progression. All tamariki experience the unique dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Teachers should now make more visible the language, culture and identity of all tamariki.

Leaders promote a culture in which tamariki are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. They foster communication between kaiako and are successful in building a positive team culture. Leaders are building kaiako capability through appraisal and collaborative ways of working. They continue to support kaiako by placing priority on building knowledge through external facilitation and enactment of the Rudolf Steiner way. Internal evaluation processes and systems are effective and focused on improving outcomes for children.

The board of directors provide strategic governance. The kindergarten's philosophy, vision, systems and processes are promoting positive learning outcomes for tamariki. Well-aligned strategic and annual plans guide centre development. The centre philosophy and integration of Te Whāriki guides kaiako practice through the Rudolf Steiner approach to learning.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers need to further develop assessment practices to:

  • make a more explicit connection to parent aspirations for their children

  • show children's learning progress over time

  • actively promote the language, culture and identity of all tamariki to support a strong sense of self and belonging.

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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

31 July 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 20 Female 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


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

June 2019

Date of this report

31 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2016

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.