Linton Kindergarten - 01/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Linton Kindergarten

How well placed is Linton 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.


Linton Kindergarten, situated at Linton Military Camp, is one of 25 early childhood services administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 30 children aged over two years. Of the 32 children enrolled, 13 are Māori. All three teachers are qualified and fully registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises family and whānau aspirations for their children. They include responsibility, creativeness, consideration, exploration and communication.

The November 2012 ERO report identified that aspects of assessment practice, teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation, and developing knowledge of te ao Māori in the local area needed further development. Professional support has been provided to improve these aspects of practice. Good progress is evident.

Day-to-day management of the association's affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets the 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 review.

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

The Review Findings

The kindergarten is very well resourced to support rich and diverse learning experiences for children. Children show high levels of engagement, independence, confidence and cooperative skills. Mixed age groups play and work together in tuakana-teina relationships. Children's wellbeing and belonging are effectively supported to meet their needs in a unique community. Creative play is enjoyed by individuals and groups. Children spontaneously engage in child-initiated, play-based learning. Sustainability is highly evident in the centre environment. Teachers plan to extend this aspect to involve the wider community.

The programme encourages children's exploration and celebrates what is important in their learning. It is responsive to individual and group interests and needs. Literacy, mathematics and aspects of science are appropriately integrated into the programme.

Planning now includes children's learning dispositions and specific teaching strategies. Parents and whānau aspirations for their children are incorporated. Te ao Māori is meaningfully woven through the curriculum, children's experiences and environment. Teachers give careful consideration to authentic bicultural practices.

Teachers work with parents and whānau to create a learning community. They work well together to settle children and families into the centre. The garden, health and sustainability aspects of the programme provide children and their families with healthy living experiences that support the development of healthy choices.

A well-considered, cohesive approach to documenting assessment for learning identifies children's progress over time. This includes different perspectives and ways to add complexity to children's learning. Portfolios record children's participation in the life of the centre. Children revisit learning stories and build on their experiences. An online programme enables whānau, parents and the wider family to access and contribute to children's learning, progress and achievements.

Children with diverse needs participate fully in the programme alongside their peers. Welldeveloped relationships with community agencies and a welcoming approach supports inclusion of these children and their families. Children's cultures, languages and identities are acknowledged and celebrated. Teachers create a good range of opportunities for children to share their experiences with extended family in other countries.

Transitions are thoughtfully considered, planned and responsive to children and families' needs. They promote seamless movement into and out of the centre. Good liaison with local schools includes regular visits and sharing of children's early childhood learning experiences and strengths.

Teachers are reflective and regularly meet to share ideas about teaching and learning. The head teacher is a considered and inclusive leader. She encourages and supports others to lead professional learning with the team.

Good support by the association's senior teacher is helping teachers establish a systematic, planned process of internal evaluation into the effectiveness of programmes and practices. Use of evaluation to inquire into the effectiveness of curriculum decisions on children's learning should continue to be strengthened.

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 indicators linked to outcomes for children are a useful addition to the annual plan. These should be further defined to enable more effective monitoring of progress.

Progress has been made in developing a bicultural perspective in the programme. This is supported by an environmental focus, bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. Association leaders are strongly committed to implementing a bicultural curriculum and promoting success for Māori children as Māori. The revised Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy, 'Wise Practice' document and bicultural exemplars should support development of these practices.

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
  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities
  • a variety of operational and administrative support.

The association agrees the continued development of the 'wise practice indicators' should occur to support understanding about the quality and effectiveness of practice and operation at kindergarten through to board level.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree that teachers should be supported to continue to strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

1 June 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

30 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 14

Ethnic composition





Other ethnic groups






Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

1 June 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.