Learning Adventures Upper Hutt - 01/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Learning Adventures Upper Hutt

How well placed is Learning Adventures Upper Hutt 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.


Learning Adventures Upper Hutt has changed ownership since the July 2014 ERO report. It now comes under the umbrella of Evolve Education Group.

The service is licensed for 98 children, with a maximum of 24 up to two years old. At the time of this ERO external evaluation there were 94 children enrolled, including 19 Māori.

Four rooms cater for children of different ages. A centre manager oversees the operation of the service and is supported by two team leaders. A recently-appointed centre support manager works alongside the leadership team in several Evolve services to develop and improve teaching and learning.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

Internal evaluation informs ongoing improvement and change. The strengths of the teaching team are used well to guide development. Teachers are clearly focused on promoting positive learning outcomes for children. The teaching team should continue to build their capabilities to further develop and guide decision making and improvement.

The centre philosophy demonstrates a clear picture of all teachers' shared beliefs and values. It is aligned to the principles of Te Whāriki. Teachers have looked at the principles and related them to what are the desired learning outcomes for children at Learning Adventures Upper Hutt.

There is clear alignment between the philosophy and assessment, planning and evaluation. Teachers talk about and moderate their teaching practice at regular meetings. They have worked positively to gain input from families and whānau about their children's learning.

Children engage in a curriculum where they make choices. They take on leadership roles. Very young children through to the older children demonstrate confidence to play and learn independently and collaboratively. The philosophy is well enacted across the service. 

Infants and toddlers demonstrate growing interest in the world around them and they are encouraged to explore the environment. They develop secure relationships with adults and other children. Their learning is visible through a range of ways, including photographs of themselves around the centre and accessible portfolios. They can join in with older children if they want, or remain within their quieter spaces. A strong sense of fun and adventure is evident.

A range of initiatives support Māori children and their whānau. Developing and building trusting relationships is a priority. Teachers make connections with the community in which the centre is situated. They continue to work on their personal learning of developing their understanding and skills in the cultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Teachers reflect on their practices to ensure they are appropriate for working alongside Māori whānau.

Children's transitions through the centre are well managed. They can venture across the room boundaries and the younger children gain a sense of what happens across the centre. Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children's learning and support their progress through the centre.

Children's learning is clearly the priority focus for teachers, who reflect critically on their practice. Appraisal goals are clearly linked to positive outcomes for children. There is a good sense of team within the centre. Children benefit from consistency of teaching and expectations across the four rooms.

Children with special learning needs are well supported to experience success. Teachers work alongside parents and external agencies to provide appropriate support for these children. Inclusive practices allow children to develop friendships and engage in challenging experiences.

A recent restructure within Evolve has led to the introduction of new management roles that aim to provide increased support for centre staff. Evolve managers should continue strengthening systems to provide ongoing guidance and support to centre leaders and teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

Teachers should continue to:

  • build capabilities to further develop and guide decision making and improvement through internal evaluation
  • grow leadership skills to notice, recognise and respond to children's learning
  • develop awareness and capability to promote Māori and Pacific children's success.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Adventures Upper Hutt 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 Learning Adventures Upper Hutt will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

1 February 2018 

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


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

98 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 49, Girls 45

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

1 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

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.