Holyoake Kindergarten - 11/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Holyoake Kindergarten

How well placed is Holyoake Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Holyoake Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Holyoake Kindergarten is located in Pahiatua. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:45am until 2:45pm. Full-day places are available for children from two to six years old. At the time of this review, 29 children were enrolled and eight identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises bringing people together through manaakitanga and whanaungatanga where children are viewed as confident learners within an environment that promotes literacy and numeracy.

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the chief executive officer who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service's compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

The May 2016 ERO report identified planning for learning, internal evaluation and further developing the bicultural curriculum to promote success for Māori as Māori, required further development. Significant progress has been made to address these areas.

The kindergarten is part of the Tararua Kāhui Ako.

This review was part of a cluster of twelve kindergartens and one early learning service reviews in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is well embedded within kindergarten practices. It reflects teacher, child, parent and community aspirations and their priorities for children's learning. Respectful, trusting and reciprocal relationships foster children's sense of belonging. These values are underpinned by Māori concepts that promote whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

Children are confident, curious and capable, able to make choices about their play and lead their own learning. They engage in a curriculum that promotes authentic and meaningful learning experiences.

A bicultural curriculum is highly evident. Tikanga practices are well understood by children. They benefit from teachers who use te reo Māori in meaningful conversations. Teachers recognise and value the diversity of culture and experiences that each child and their whānau bring to their learning. This recognition contributes to the effective promotion of culturally responsive practices and educational success for Māori children as Māori.

Assessment, planning and evaluation for children's learning has been strengthened. This practice more deliberately responds to the progression of learning for individual children. Children's strengths, interests and dispositions are reflected in their learning stories and used to inform planning. Intentional teaching builds on their skills and knowledge. Parents' aspirations are valued. Links are made between home and kindergarten and promote children's progress over time.

Teachers work collaboratively with external agencies and families to assist children to fully participate in an inclusive programme alongside their peers.

Relationships between teachers, parents and families are strong. Teachers engage parents in decisions about their child's education. The kindergarten has developed a strong partnership with the local school. Regular visits help children to become familiar with the school environment.

The head teacher has been well supported in her leadership role. Teamwork is collaborative. A shared vision sets clear direction for the kindergarten and reflects commitment to providing high quality early childhood education. Teachers engage in a range of professional learning opportunities that reflect the needs of the learning community.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and the sharing of good practice.

A range of collaboratively undertaken reviews aligned to kindergarten and association priorities for ongoing improvement, emphasise children's learning. Regular internal evaluation leads to improvements for children's learning. Teachers' understanding and use of effective internal evaluation is developing. A focus of development is strengthening teachers' knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation to support them to know the impact of their actions on children's outcomes.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for monitoring, reporting and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level, teachers need to continue to strengthen:

  • internal evaluation to measure the impact of teaching and learning on outcomes for children.

At governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association have identified that their priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and build their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi with kaumatua support

  • support Holyoake Kindergarten to embed internal evaluation for improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Holyoake 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.

To improve compliance practice:

  • Since the onsite phase of ERO's evaluation, the association has revised and strengthened procedures in relation to medication forms.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

11 October 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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 16, Male 13

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

11 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2016

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

May 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

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.