Hillsborough Kindergarten - 29/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Hillsborough Kindergarten

How well placed is Hillsborough 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.


Hillsborough Kindergarten provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. The kindergarten serves a culturally diverse community.

All teachers are qualified early childhood teachers. They have reviewed their philosophy to align it more closely with Māori values and their shared beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers have identified valued outcomes for children from the philosophy, including whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, hauora, self-help and independence skills, and small-group learning.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been a number of staff changes, including the appointment of a new head teacher. The teaching team has made good progress addressing the key next steps from the 2015 ERO report. These included deepening children's thinking and learning, building learning partnerships with whānau, and using a reflective self-review process to improve practices.

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 kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, settled and eager to learn. They work well together as they explore interesting play areas in the spacious, very well resourced, natural environment. Children experience positive, respectful interactions with each other and their teachers. They are effectively supported to develop social, self-help and independence skills, and a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Children enjoy long periods of uninterrupted time to explore interests and extend their ideas. They readily lead their own learning by making clear decisions about their participation in the programme. Children have many opportunities to work in small groups or on their own as they deepen their learning within the calm flow of the day.

Teachers provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for children, parents and whānau. They maintain friendly, sensitive relationships with children and families. Teachers value and respect the home languages of children who speak languages other than English. They provide useful, relevant support for families.

Teachers construct and present the learning environments thoughtfully. They work intentionally with children to extend their learning through meaningful conversations. Teachers support children to recognise and express their strengths through carefully chosen activities.

Parents are well informed about their children’s participation and learning through assessment portfolios, extensive wall displays and digital technology. Teachers seek and value parents’ views. They encourage parents to spend time at the kindergarten and contribute their skills and knowledge to the learning programme.

Transition into the kindergarten is based on the needs of each child and family. Teachers have developed positive relationships with neighbouring schools to support children's successful transitions to school.

Kindergarten leaders and teachers are focused on building a strong team. They willingly share leadership opportunities. The kindergarten's strategic plan shows clear alignment to the AKA's priorities and teachers' appraisal goals. Teachers are developing a shared approach to internal evaluation. This process could be further strengthened by continuing to evaluate the impacts of changes made.

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

Key next steps for leaders and teachers include further developing:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation processes for individuals and groups of children that recognise and extend children's learning pathways and document intentional teaching strategies

  • learning partnerships with children and whānau

  • the evaluative reasoning aspect of internal evaluation to ensure that changes made meet kindergarten priorities and expectations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hillsborough 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 Hillsborough Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 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


Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 37 Boys 24

Ethnic composition

other Pacific Nations


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

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

March 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.