Holborn Kindergarten - 14/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Holborn Kindergarten

How well placed is Holborn 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.


Holborn Kindergarten is located in Stokes Valley and provides education and care for children aged from two to five years. Six-hour daily sessions are offered five days a week. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children. Teachers are fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff. The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The August 2012 ERO report identified areas requiring further development these included: promoting Pacific cultures; strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation and self review.

The kindergarten is governed by the Hutt City Kindergarten Association (the association). Two professional practice managers (PPMs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the previous ERO report there have been several changes of General Manager.

This review was part of a cluster of nine kindergarten reviews in the Hutt City Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a child-led sustained play programme. Teachers provide a range of literacy and mathematics learning opportunities to support exploration and extend learning. Rich descriptive language and open ended questions are used in everyday conversations with children to help promote their oral language development and learning. Relationships are warm, welcoming and respectful.

The kindergarten’s philosophy has recently been reviewed in consultation with the community. It has a strong focus on, supporting Māori tamariki to be successful learners, respectful relationships with families and whānau and encouraging tamariki to work alongside each other in active exploration of their environment through meaningful play. Developing clear, specific and measurable indicators of good practice should help support the effective implementation.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported to enable them to participate in all aspects of the curriculum. The kindergarten has appropriate processes and systems in place to support children and their families for transitioning into school.

Positive relationships formed with families and whānau are reciprocal and respectful, and support children's sense of belonging. Strengthening these relationships for learning through capturing their aspirations for their children is a next step.

Te reo me ngā tikānga Māori is well promoted in the kindergarten. Te reo Māori is heard frequently and used in conversations between teachers and children. Waiata are popular activities. The annual kai and waiata evening has become an important community occasion.

Strategies to support success for Māori and Pacific children are in place. Teachers have identified the need to further consult with their Māori and Pacific communities to define what success looks like for their children in this context. This should help to guide teaching, learning and self review.

Children's learning stories provide a rich picture of their interests and learning experiences. Celebrating their culture, language and identity is clearly evident in their stories. Recently there has been an increased focus by teachers to show more complexity, challenge and progression in the learning stories. Planning is child centred and responds to children's emerging interests.

The head teacher demonstrates a collaborative and thoughtful approach to leadership. Teachers have a strong commitment to the philosophy, vision and direction of the centre. The kindergarten has an effective self review process in place to help them improve their practices and curriculum. Self review is valued and led in a collaborative way where teachers are fully involved. A next step is for teachers to include a clear focus on outcomes for children.

The association is part way through the implementation of a new approach to appraisal. Once fully established this should assist leaders to provide a robust, supportive and developmental process. The PPMs should then regularly monitor how well appraisal is implemented in each kindergarten.

The board receives a range of useful information. A key next step is for leaders to undertake more evaluative reporting to assist in decision making and ongoing resourcing. The strategic plan provides a vision and shared direction to guide development. Establishing clearer measures of success should strengthen evaluation of progress towards goals. In addition, strategies that promote cultural responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families should be highlighted in strategic documents.

The PPMs provide half-yearly written reports. These show how the kindergarten is meeting legislative requirements, and at times, make recommendations. The reports should be strengthened by providing critical feedback on the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of the curriculum in improving outcomes for children.

The association provides guidance and support to teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning. This includes:

  • a useful framework and clear expectations, that guide kindergarten operations and support the services to meet legislative and health and safety requirements
  • opportunities for professional learning and development for staff
  • sound support for provisionally registered teachers.

At the time of this review, the association was involved in a process of a formal review to determine the future direction of Hutt Kindergartens. ERO identified that, within the current operating model, the capacity of senior staff to provide targeted support that promotes ongoing improvement to teaching and learning is limited.

Key Next Steps

ERO indentified priorities for improvement should include:

  • developing specific indicators of good practice based on the kindergarten’s teaching philosophy
  • continuing to strengthen learning partnerships with families and whānau
  • strengthening the focus on outcomes for children in self review.

The association should:

  • strengthen the measures used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan
  • provide evaluative reports to support decision making
  • at a strategic level, identify strategies to promote cultural responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families
  • monitor each kindergarten to ensure the robust implementation of the appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

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


Stokes Valley, Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over two years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21, Boys 17

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

14 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

March 2009

Education Review

February 2006

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.