Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon - 21/10/2013

1 Evaluation of Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon

How well placed is Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon 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.


Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon is one of sixteen kindergartens managed by the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Senior teachers are employed by the association to support teaching and learning.

The service is licensed for 34 children aged from two to five years. Older children attend five morning sessions each week, with a group of five staying all day. Younger children attend four afternoon sessions. The teaching team consists of four qualified teachers. The head teacher is fully registered and three are working towards registration.

Kahikatea Kindergarten is situated in a natural environment adjacent to Frankley School. The two enjoy a positive and close relationship. Resources are frequently shared, particularly the outdoors, as both are involved in the Enviro schools programme.

The philosophy has undergone extensive review. It reflects New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage and focuses strongly on the natural environment and sustainability. Respectful relationships and nurturing the child’s interests and strengths are values, lived and breathed by children and adults.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO. Areas for development identified in the June 2010 ERO report have been addressed in a productive way.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Board members undertake regular training and have developed useful processes to support governance roles and responsibilities. The senior teacher provides effective professional leadership. She visits the kindergarten regularly and works alongside the teaching team to support development of practice. These association processes help to promote positive outcomes for children.

Children experience a rich curriculum. Teachers plan from children’s interests, passions and strengths. Thoughtful conversations with parents, and teachers’ daily observations, help to decide the next steps to challenge children and enrich their experiences. Children frequently return to a previous day’s activity with teachers skilfully adding more complex resources. They support children to sustain their interests and to persevere.

There are many opportunities for children to explore and engage in reading, writing and number activities. Children use their knowledge confidently across the curriculum.

Bicultural respect and the unique place of Māori are interwoven within the sustainable curriculum. A reciprocal visit to a marae and knowledgeable adults and children showing leadership, provide a rich source for children’s and teachers’ learning. Language, culture and identity are celebrated in every part of centre operation.

Children with special needs are welcomed and supported by close partnerships with parents. Teachers know each child and their personalities well. Developing appropriate social behaviour is evident in children’s relationships and the respectful way they interact with each other. Teachers model the values, held by parents and whānau, of caring for each other and enjoying learning.

Children are confident and enthusiastic learners. Teachers use open-ended questions and gentle prompts to encourage children to solve problems and explore through imaginative play. Surroundings are inviting and there are many resources and activities used by children to learn about gardening and caring for the environment. Parents and community members are active in building children’s skills and understanding of sustainable practices.

Thoughtful assessment practices focus on moving children on in their learning. Portfolios include the children’s voice and family contributions. There are clear links from one learning story to the next. Teachers are skilled observers. They respond to what they notice with ideas for next steps and an offer to be involved.

Children’s transition to school is tailored to meet their individual needs. The neighbouring school and service work closely together. Teachers and parents share information so that children’s confidence and capability at preschool transfer to the new entrant classrooms.

The head teacher is a capable professional leader who welcomes initiative. The teaching team is innovative and enthusiastic. Each teacher plays an active role in the service’s development.

Teachers clearly understand the purpose and process for self review. Reviews are well structured and there is regular evaluation during the process. Change is considered and responsive to findings, guided by best practice in early childhood education.

Key Next Steps

Self-review processes are resulting in positive change for children and their families. ERO agrees that continuing to use the kindergarten’s well-developed review process to evaluate all aspects of teaching and learning, is appropriate.

The association should continue to review appraisal and consider formal critique of teaching practice and feedback processes to improve teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon 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 Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon will be in four years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

21 October 2013

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31, Boys 28

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

Under 2



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

21 October 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2010


Education Review

December 2006


Education Review

December 2003

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.