Katoa Kindergarten - 07/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Katoa Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Katoa Kindergarten is situated in Takapuwahia, Porirua City. It provides all-day education and care for up to 40 children, aged over two years. At the time of this review, 28 Māori and five Pacific heritage children were enrolled at the service.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises kaiako working collaboratively to support whānau participation and empowering the unique potential of ngā tamariki to be competent and confident learners.

The head teacher, appointed after the 2015 ERO report, is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the kindergarten. The service also experienced some changes to the teaching team. All teachers are fully qualified.

Katoa 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 oversee and support the professional practice of the teaching team. The association governs 102 kindergartens which includes three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service with two networks.

ERO's June 2015 report identified areas requiring further development including strengthening self review through a more evaluative approach. Progress to address this is ongoing.

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 nine in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a play-based programme that supports their emerging interests. Teachers work alongside children using a range of intentional teaching strategies to extend their learning. Interdependence and working in groups are well promoted. Positive, warm and respectful interactions are evident. Younger children have many opportunities to learn and play alongside their older peers.

The kindergarten’s philosophy has recently been reviewed. Leaders and teachers should draw on parent and whānau aspirations to determine what learning matters for them. This should support the kindergarten to develop a shared understanding of what educational success looks like for their children.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported. Leaders and teachers work alongside their family and whānau to access the external agencies when required.

Leaders establish a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Collaborative ways of working are fostered in the kindergarten. Teachers have many opportunities to lead many aspects within the curriculum.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices are effectively celebrated. Teachers use te reo Māori in meaningful group learning activities. Children are encouraged to speak and respond in te reo Māori when participating.

Leaders and teachers have developed a strong relationship with Ngāti Toa. Planned excursions to the local marae enriches learning. Teachers continue to extend the curriculum by increasing and celebrating places of significant value to Ngāti Toa.

Celebrating diversity within the kindergarten is effectively promoted. Cultural events extend children’s learning experiences in meaningful ways, often with the support of parent expertise.

Effective planning for learning framework guides teacher practice and is based on children’s emerging interests. Teachers recognise what is important for learning and respond by developing meaningful learning experiences. They work collaboratively with parents and whānau to establish aspirations for their child. Teachers continue to develop specific learning outcomes in group planning, as well as drawing on the parent aspirations to develop purposeful learning goals.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused and beginning to use internal evaluation to inform their decision making and improve practice. A next step is to strengthen teachers' knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation.

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 are reflective and highly improvement focused. They successfully foster collective sense of responsibility to implement the vision, values and mission of the association. Systems and processes have been well developed to guide teacher 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:

  • draw on parent and whānau aspirations to determine what learning matters for them

  • build teachers' knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation to better measure the impact of teacher practice on children's learning.

ERO and senior leaders agree that the association's next step are 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 Katoa 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 Region

7 May 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 over two years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific Heritage
Other Ethnic Groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported rations of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

7 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

April 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.