Jamieson Kindergarten - 22/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Jamieson Kindergarten

How well placed is Jamieson 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.


Jamieson Kindergarten is one of 29 kindergartens located in the wider Hamilton region. It is situated in the residential suburb of Forest Lake and is licenced for 42 children from two years to school age. At the time of this review, 49 children were enrolled, including 18 who identify as Māori. The kindergarten offers all-day education and care and flexible attendance hours and days to meet the needs of families. All teachers are qualified and registered. The organisation provides twenty free hours for all children.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust, and does not operate for profit. The strategic direction of the Association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Every child reaching their full potential’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending. All kindergartens in Waikato Kindergarten Association are involved in sustainable programmes promoting the care of people and the environment, such as Enviroschools, Sport Waikato Under 5 Energise and a ‘Cool for School’ transition programme. A kaumātua from Tainui provides advice, guidance and support to the organisation. The kindergartens education, operational and administrative responsibilities are well supported by Association specialist personnel.

The kindergarten's philosophy aims to foster children’s sense of identity and emotional wellbeing within the programme. A commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and other cultures within the community is promoted. Te whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is strongly followed and implemented, and there is a focus on establishing and maintaining strong parent and whānau partnerships for children's learning.

Since the last ERO review in 2014, the philosophy has been reviewed, refined and further review is underway at the time of this review. Assessment, planning and evaluation are also currently under review with a view to support new online approaches. The notion of children as themselves as learners and decision makers has improved. The kindergarten has had a positive reporting history with ERO.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Waikato kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive and affirming relationships with teachers and each other. They are supported to develop a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing through the respectful and calm culture of the kindergarten. Predictable routines support the development of children’s social competency and self-management skills. Teachers deliberately plan to respond to parent aspirations for their children's learning. Children benefit from a wide range of learning experiences.

The curriculum is well designed and follows the identified interests of all children. The spacious inside environment provides many opportunities for children to gain literacy and early mathematical knowledge through meaningful play. Oral language is promoted by teachers through the use of resources and equipment that reflect all curriculum areas of play. The outside environment is extensive and invites children’s engagement and problem solving. Risk and challenge is encouraged and natural/living world experiences support children’s knowledge of themselves as explorers. The extensive curriculum supports children to become capable and confident lifelong learners.

Planning, assessment and evaluation have been recently reviewed to better reflect Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Parents are well informed about their child's learning through an online assessment system and through six-monthly learning evaluations. Children with additional learning and development needs are fully included into the programme. They and their families are well supported by teachers who involve external agencies as appropriate. Transitions into and out of the kindergarten foster children’s friendships and engagement to enhance their security and confidence at settling in and transition times.

Te ao Māori is visible throughout the environment. The head teacher demonstrates competence and confidence in te reo and tikanga Māori, waiata and karakia. Her leadership promotes and acknowledges the value of the language, culture and identity of Māori. Manaakitanga is promoted strongly through the enviro-schools programme where children are encouraged to care for the environment and the local community. The multicultural community is celebrated with displays around the kindergarten and in shared whānau events. Teachers recognise the next step is to strengthen the local curriculum to include and reflect the unique and historical features of the community.

The long serving head teacher strongly promotes collaborative ways of working with all staff. She sets high expectations and models reflective teaching practice that strongly focuses on sustaining positive relationships with staff, children and their families. A deliberate priority to building relationships with parents as partners in their children’s learning is promoted. Kindergarten leadership supports positive educational outcomes for all children.

Internal evaluation is effectively documented. It is well used to guide important aspects of practice, daily operations and long term improvement. The developing process of teaching as inquiry is leading to centre-wide improvement, particularly in relation to planning and assessment for children's learning.

The WKA has a commitment to providing high-quality, inclusive and equitable services for children. The association provides sound, comprehensive systems, policies and procedures to guide kindergarten practice. Teachers have access to ongoing and targeted professional development to support improved practices which lead to improved outcomes for children. Education Support Managers work closely with the head teacher and provide well-informed professional leadership to support kindergarten operations.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree the important next step is to further develop teaching as inquiry to include purposeful observations of teaching practice.

To enhance practice there needs to be long term internal evaluation on curriculum delivery which will include an evaluation of:

  • the current balance of teacher directed and child initiated learning

  • children’s ability to make choices and decisions about their own learning

  • ongoing opportunities for children to engage in sustained and complex play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

22 January 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 25

Ethnic composition



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 2017

Date of this report

22 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

November 2008

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.