Marfell Kindergarten - 22/08/2013

1 Evaluation of Marfell Kindergarten

How well placed is Marfell 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.


Marfell Kindergarten is one of sixteen kindergartens managed by the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Senior teachers are employed by the association to support teaching and learning.

Although a significant number of staffing changes have occurred since the June 2010 ERO report, the kindergarten currently has three permanent fulltime teachers. A part time teacher is in a relieving position. All teaching staff are qualified and registered and lead the programme under the guidance of a head teacher. Of the total roll of 41 children, 24 are Māori. Three children come from Pacific nations. The kindergarten philosophy is based on valuing and providing a learning community that recognises the curriculum as including people, the physical environment and resources.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Board members undertake regular training and have developed useful processes to support governance roles and responsibilities. Senior teachers are effective professional leaders and visit the kindergarten regularly. They work alongside the teaching team to support development of practice. These association processes promote positive outcomes for children.

Kindergarten management plans are well aligned with association documents. A collaborative approach to enhance shared understandings of the philosophy, vision and goals is strongly evident. Developing leadership skills among teachers is encouraged.

Children’s active exploration is stimulated and supported. Curious children take increased responsibility for their own learning. Routines are flexible and adults follow the child’s lead, with a varied, holistic curriculum. Teachers are nurturing and they successfully support the development of children’s social skills and independence. Staff effectively support children with additional needs. These children participate in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers. Teachers use questioning and conversations well to extend learning, language and children’s interests.

Teachers' actions and responses effectively support participation, attendance and engagement of Māori and Pacific children and their families. A clear vision that seeks to realise the potential of children and their whānau, sets the direction for the kindergarten. Manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and tikanga Māori continue to be successfully embedded within teaching and learning. Teachers use deliberate strategies to support the success of Pacific children and engage with their families. The curriculum clearly reflects parents’ aspirations for their children. Inclusive practices are culturally responsive where whānau and aiga bring who they are, including their cultural identity into programmes.

The supportive, experienced head teacher effectively leads her team. Professional learning and development with an external facilitator promotes teachers' enhanced capability in self review. The staff appraisal process is improvement-focused. Teachers take time for critical reflection on their effectiveness. Development goals focus on centre and individual teacher needs and interests. Selfreview systems help to maintain a safe emotional and physical learning environment. Continued improvement and change in the kindergarten enhances outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Continuing to promote teachers' inquiry into the impact of teaching practice and enhancing outcomes for children by:

  • reviewing the kindergarten philosophy and embedding newly developed, integrated approaches to self review.

The association should continue to review appraisal and consider formal critique of teaching practice and feedback processes to improve teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Marfell 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 Marfell Kindergarten will be in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

22 August 2013

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 21, Girls 20

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Cook Island Māori





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

June 2013

Date of this report

22 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2010


Education Review

December 2006


Education Review

December 2003

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.