Johnsonville West Kindergarten - 06/03/2020

1 Evaluation of Johnsonville West Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Johnsonville West Kindergarten is licensed to provide all-day education and care for up to 40 children aged over two years. Of the 62 children enrolled at the centre, five identify as Māori. There is a large number of children from a wide range of cultures who are English language learners. Teachers represent a range of diverse cultural backgrounds.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises that, as an integral part of the community, it is a warm, welcoming environment with a positive, caring and respectful culture. This is underpinned by the values of kaitiaki, manaakitanga, and ngākau aroha.

Since the June 2015 ERO report, there have been several changes to the teaching team. All teachers are fully qualified.

Johnsonville West Kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). The chief executive and a board of trustees are responsible for the governance. A team of senior teachers oversees and supports the professional practice of the teaching team. The association governs 102 early childhood services, which includes three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service with two networks.

ERO's previous report identified areas requiring further development. These included; assessment, planning and evaluation, bicultural curriculum and self-review. Good progress has been made in these areas.

Progress has been made by the association to improve the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

This review was one of eight kindergarten reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to be independent, confident and capable learners. They play freely in a calm and unhurried child-led, play-based programme. Social competence and inclusive play are clearly evident. Well-considered learning spaces encourage wondering, investigation, creativity and focused play. The outdoor environment promotes exploration, challenge and experimentation.

Children with additional learning needs are well identified and effectively planned for in the programme. Teachers work well in partnership with whānau and external agencies to identify and reduce potential barriers for children's learning.

Leaders and teachers are committed to continuing to build their capability to further enhance an authentic bicultural programme. Kaupapa Māori concepts are skilfully woven into and celebrated within the learning programme. This enriches and extends children’s learning.

A well-considered transition process effectively supports whānau and their children as they journey through the kindergarten and on to school. Underpinned by effective partnerships with whānau, kindergarten and a local school, this helps support a seamless transition to school, particularly for children with additional learning needs.

Leaders and teachers show a strong commitment to the philosophy and vision of the kindergarten. Children and their whānau are valued and celebrated. The centre philosophy is strongly evident in practice.

Effective planning for learning guides teacher practice and is based on children’s emerging interests. Leaders and teachers have enhanced their group and individual planning that are aligned to a recently-developed Te Ao Māori framework. Teachers recognise what learning is important by using the Te Manawa framework to develop specific learning outcomes. The teaching team is beginning to use this to develop specific learning experiences that support the programme.

Children’s portfolios provide a record of their individual learning, developing friendships and participation in the programme. Celebrating children's cultures, languages and identities is clearly evident. Leaders have identified the need to strengthen, through assessment documentation:

  • their response to parent aspirations

  • how teachers add complexity to extend children’s learning and show progress over time.

Leaders are improvement focused and have a good understanding of internal evaluation. They use this to strengthen their practice. Continuing to build the teaching team’s evaluative capability is a key next step. This will enable them to better evaluate the impact of the learning programme on valued outcomes for children’s learning.

A well-considered appraisal process has recently been enhanced to grow and develop teacher practice. Teachers are expected to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Purposeful appraisal goals focus on improving aspects of leadership and practice to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

The senior teaching team is reflective and highly improvement focused. They successfully foster a collective sense of responsibility to implement the vision, values and mission of the association. Systems and processes have been well developed to guide teachers' capability and positively impact on children’s learning.

Senior leaders work effectively together, with a shared commitment to meeting strategic goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Well-considered resource allocation supports and enhances children’s learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for teachers are to:

  • improve aspects of assessment documentation

  • continue to build the teaching team's evaluation capabilities.

ERO and senior leaders agree that the association's next step is to:

  • continue to follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi Based Strategic Priority Framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Johnsonville West 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

6 March 2020

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

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 34, Male 28

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

6 March 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

June 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.