Little Peppertree Preschool - 11/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Little Peppertree Preschool

How well placed is Little Peppertree Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Little Peppertree Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Little Peppertree Preschool is one of two Peppertree centres operating in Rangiora, and one of four owned by the licensee. An overarching management structure supports the four services, and a curriculum manager and supervisor provide professional support and guidance for teachers.

This centre caters for the learning and education of up to 25 children over two years old within a home-like environment. All staff, have early childhood qualifications and are registered teachers.

The centre's philosophy emphasises the Enviroschools' principles and values, which include a commitment to sustainable practices, promoting children's understanding of, and respect for the environment, energy, water conservation and waste management. The centre has been awarded the Enviroschools' bronze award.

The owner and teachers have made progress towards meeting the recommendations related to strategic planning, assessment and internal evaluation that were identified in the 2016 ERO report.

The centre is a member of the North Canterbury Liaison Group and Puketeraki Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (COL).

This review was part of two early childhood centre reviews in Peppertree preschool services.

The Review Findings

Children play cooperatively and purposefully in a calm, unhurried environment. They enjoy a variety of activities and make choices about their learning. Teachers offer experiences that encourage children to inquire and collaborate. The natural outdoor environment offers challenges and interest that invite children to become fully involved in a wide variety of learning experiences. This supports children's curiosity and exploration, particularly in sustainable practices and science.

There is a strong focus on relationships and teachers know families well. Children's interests and learning are shared verbally, in profile books and digitally with families. Feedback is encouraged.

Transitions into the centre, and onto school are personalised and well paced to meet the needs of individual children and their families. Teachers make use of their local community to enrich children's learning experiences. They work closely with external agencies to support children with additional learning needs.

Teachers value Māori children's identity as Māori. They use this as the foundation for and key to success as Māori. There is an understanding of te ao Maori perspectives in the curriculum, with te reo Māori and natural resources incorporated into the daily programme. The next step is to make this more visible in assessment, planning and evaluation.

Teachers are building a collaborative team culture where individual talents and skills complement each other. Teachers actively foster respectful, reciprocal relationships within the centre and with the local community.

Centre operations are underpinned by a framework of relevant policies and procedures. Centre leaders have high professional standards and expectations that have a clear focus on improvement. Changes have been made to the environment and centre operations as a result of internal evaluation. The centre has recently adopted a new appraisal system. This needs to be embedded to include observations and consistency of teacher reflections.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the services key next steps are to continue to:

  • Increase the visibility of children's home language, culture and identity for Māori and Pacific children in assessment documentation
  • embed the new appraisal system, ensuring observations of teaching practices are regularly included
  • strengthen assessment to clearly document teaching strategies to extend children's learning, and evaluate the impact of these strategies on learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Peppertree Preschool 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 Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

11 October 2019

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children aged 2 and over

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 13, Boys 15

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

11 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2016

Education Review

August 2013

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.