Kelson Kindergarten - 24/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Kelson Kindergarten

How well placed is Kelson 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.


Kelson Kindergarten is located in Hutt City and provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. Older children attend three days a week and morning sessions are offered to younger children twice a week. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 45 children.

The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff. Teachers are well supported by an active kindergarten management committee. The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The August 2012 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included assessment, planning and evaluation, self review and the bicultural programme. Professional learning and development has focused on these areas and changes have been made as a result. Teachers are committed to the ongoing acquisition of professional knowledge.

The kindergarten is governed by the Hutt City Kindergarten Association (the association). Two professional practice managers (PPMs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the previous review there have been several changes to the General Manager.

This review was part of a cluster of ten kindergarten reviews in the Hutt City Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children lead their learning at Kelson Kindergarten. Teachers, the environment and the curriculum effectively support them to make choices about their play and independently access resources and equipment. The programme clearly reflects the kindergarten philosophy and the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Positive relationships are a significant feature. Teachers’ interactions with children are warm, respectful and affirming. They know children well and spontaneously respond to their learning interests and needs. There is a strong focus on family engagement. Family members are welcomed as part of the programme. Adults and children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. Teachers have developed strong partnerships with families which support children’s learning and wellbeing. Successful transition to school is supported by an effective partnership with the local school.

Children are confident and well engaged in their learning. They happily play independently or cooperatively, interacting positively with each other.

The environment is spacious, attractive and well considered by teachers. Displays reinforce children’s learning and help them to revisit their prior experiences. Children can access a range of activities and resources that promote their literacy, numeracy and science skills. Environmental education continues to be a strong focus in the curriculum. Māori language and culture is visually reflected throughout the indoor spaces.

Teachers are committed to the development of a bicultural curriculum and are strengthening their focus on supporting Māori learners’ success. Current professional learning is assisting them to develop their understandings and confidence about te ao Māori and about appropriate ways to seek and respond to whānau aspirations for their children.

Children easily access and proudly share their profile books which contain attractive records of their learning experiences. Recent work to review this process has resulted in increased contributions from families. Assessment records document key learning events and ways in which teachers have noticed and responded. They are beginning to show how children’s learning is connected over time. There are plans to change to online digital profiles. This transition will provide a good opportunity for teachers to explore how to better extend and add complexity to children’s learning and respond to their observed interests.

The teaching team is led by an experienced head teacher. Staff regularly discuss, document and share with families, their reflections about the curriculum programme.

Review and development of operational models and assessment practice have led to positive changes and improvements. A next step is to strengthen self review to be more evaluative so that teachers can measure the quality of aspects of the curriculum. This is likely to better inform ongoing, improved outcomes for children.

The association is part way through the implementation of a new approach to appraisal. Once fully established this should assist leaders to provide a robust, supportive and developmental process. Kindergarten leaders should then undertake regular monitoring of how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

The board receives a range of useful information. A key next step is for leaders to provide more evaluative reporting to assist in decision making and ongoing resourcing. The strategic plan provides a vision and shared direction to guide development. Establishing clearer measures of success should strengthen evaluation of progress towards goals. In addition, strategies that promote cultural responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families should be highlighted in strategic documents.

The PPMs provide half-yearly written reports. These provide information about how the kindergarten is meeting legislative requirements, and at times, make recommendations. These reports should be strengthened by providing critical feedback on the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of the curriculum in improving outcomes for children.

At the time of this review the association was involved in a process of a formal review to determine the future direction of Hutt City Kindergartens. ERO identified that, within the current operating model, the capacity of senior staff to provide targeted support that promotes ongoing improvement to teaching and learning is limited.

The association provides guidance and support to teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning. This includes:

  • a useful framework and clear expectations, that guide kindergarten operations and support the services to meet legislative and health and safety requirements
  • opportunities for professional learning and development for staff
  • sound support for provisionally registered teachers.

Key Next Steps

ERO identified priorities for improvement include:

  • strengthened assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • further development of self review to make it more evaluative.

The association should:

  • strengthen the measures used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan
  • provide evaluative reports to the board
  • at a strategic level, identify strategies to promote cultural responsiveness for Māori and Pacific families
  • monitor each kindergarten to ensure robust implementation of the appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 June 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Lower Hutt City

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, over two years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28,

Girls 18

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

24 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012


Education Review

February 2009


Education Review

February 2006

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.