Kelvin Grove Kindergarten - 12/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Kelvin Grove Kindergarten

How well placed is Kelvin Grove 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.


Kelvin Grove Kindergarten is one of 24 administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Most children begin attending the service at close to three years of age. Of the 58 children enrolled, 11 are Māori. All teachers are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of supporting children to become confident, capable and resilient communicators as part of a community of learners.

The November 2012 ERO review identified that teachers should develop understanding and use of self review. Professional support by the senior teacher has been provided to support this aspect of practice and progress is evident.

Day-to-day management of the association’s affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets overall strategic direction. The senior teacher provides professional leadership for teaching and learning. An operations manager supports kindergartens’ compliance, policy development and leadership. A management restructure has been undertaken since the previous ERO reviews.

This review is one of a cluster of five reviews of Ruahine Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The curriculum, environment and resources provide children with a varied range of activities and learning opportunities. The outdoor area has been developed to support an increased choice of challenging learning experiences. Literacy and mathematical learning features meaningfully within a variety of experiences throughout the curriculum.

Children generally show high levels of engagement in their learning. They demonstrate independence, confidence and cooperative skills. Teachers have positive and responsive relationships with children and encourage peer interactions.

Staff have a clear focus on ensuring that teaching practice and the environment are supportive and inclusive. They share values that encourage respectful behaviour and support children's developing social competencies. Teachers should continue to consider how to enhance aspects of the programme and environment to better meet the needs of the younger children attending the kindergarten.

Assessment is increasingly responsive to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Narratives and photographs show their engagement and at times dispositional learning and progress.

Teachers’ observations of learning are reflected in portfolios and a variety of visual displays within the kindergarten. Further evaluation of the impact of intentional teaching strategies and curriculum decisions on children’s learning is required. This should help to determine next development steps and enhance outcomes for children.

Parents are welcomed and acknowledged as their child’s first teacher. Teachers encourage and provide opportunities for parents to contribute to their child’s learning. An on-line programme increasingly records teachers’ and parents’ communication about children’s learning programmes, progress and achievements. This is in the early stages of implementation.

Children experience a range of opportunities to learn about Aotearoa/New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. A recent review focus is supporting teachers to further promote te ao Māori as a meaningful part of children’s daily experience. Teachers continue to explore ways of enhancing culturally responsive practices for Māori learners.

Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured when beginning kindergarten. Teachers support parents to settle children according to their needs. Reciprocal visits between the centre and school occur where possible. Teachers work collaboratively with parents to assist children’s transition to school.

Staff are encouraged by the experienced head teacher to use their expertise and develop leadership skills further. Internal evaluation is valued and teachers take time for critical reflection on their practice. Appropriate use is made of current best practice to support developing evaluation processes. Review of the kindergarten philosophy to reflect a shared understanding of values and beliefs amongst the new teaching team is an agreed next step.

The kindergarten's annual plan outlines priorities for the year linked to the association's strategic goals of having high quality staff, coordinated services, effective partnerships and operations. Progress is recorded and reflected upon in collaboration with the senior teacher and operations manager. Quality outcomes linked to agreed ‘wise practice' should be a useful addition to the annual plan. This should enable more effective monitoring of progress in relation to learning, teaching and outcomes for children.

Association leaders agree, implementation of a bicultural curriculum and promotion of success for Māori as Māori need further development. The recently revised Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy, the ‘Wise Practice’ document, and the establishment of enduring connections with mana whenua should support these aspects of practice.

The association provides effective governance and management support for this service. This includes:

  • constructive and improvement-focused support from the senior teacher
  • suitable quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations
  • a variety of operational and administrative support
  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities.

Developing and implementing appraisal for the senior teacher and operations manager is a priority.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree that teachers should be supported to continue to develop:

  • and embed their approach to assessment and planning for learning
  • understanding and use of internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

12 February 2016

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


Palmerston North

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

Girls 29, Boys 29

Ethnic composition





Fijian Indian

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

November 2015

Date of this report

12 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2012


Education Review

June 2009


Education Review

April 2005

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.