Marlborough Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Marlborough Kindergarten

How well placed is Marlborough 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.


Marlborough Kindergarten, located on Auckland's North Shore, is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Since the 2013 ERO review the kindergarten has transitioned to a Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) providing the option for children to attend a six hour session, up to five days per week. This change has resulted in the addition of one new teacher to the team. Marlborough Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework to support its operation.

The team has four qualified teachers, three part time teacher aides, and an administrative assistant. This team provides care and education for children from diverse cultural backgrounds in a well established community. Agincourt Reserve provides a natural backdrop to the kindergarten grounds.

The kindergarten's philosophy acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua. It is strongly focused on providing a healthy, peaceful community service that is inclusive of all children. It is important to the team that children are challenged and have fun as they build foundations for lifelong learning alongside others.

The 2013 ERO report recognised many strengths of the kindergarten, including its support for children to be creative and confident learners, and good emerging literacy and numeracy knowledge. These areas of good practice have been sustained. The 2013 report recommended further development of cultural responsiveness, children's portfolios and programme planning. The team has worked well to strengthen these areas.

The AKA restructure in 2015 has introduced new responsibilities and ways of working for both AKA and kindergarten personnel. A period of transition is continuing for staff as they develop their understanding and competence in relation to new roles and systems.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA).

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's philosophy is clearly evident in practice. Children are self managing and capable. They have a sense of ownership of the kindergarten environment, and an understanding that this is their place. They quickly settle to self-directed play, and play in small groups for sustained periods. Children work well together, maintaining friendships and chatting in English and home languages.

The programme offers children challenges, opportunities to take learning risks, to persevere and to build resilience. Children approach adults with confidence to share their achievements and for conversation. They have fun and enjoy their play.

Teachers recognise and promote the rights of all children to be able to access quality early childhood education. They strongly value the knowledge that children bring with them and show high regard for each child's language, culture and identity through respectful, reciprocal interactions.

Teachers maintain partnerships with children's families who appreciate how well the programme supports children's learning, and how well teachers know their children. Parents and whānau contribute to the programme in significant ways. An active parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising and centre events.

Teaching practice reflects an understanding of the cultural heritage of Māori children. The programme includes Māori concepts, te reo, customs and values. Children have opportunities to develop an authentic awareness of Māori culture. Meaningful consultation occurs with whānau and the community.

Children's interests guide programme planning, alongside teachers' inclusion of cultural, community and global events. A focus on environmental sustainability is woven through all aspects of teaching practice and kindergarten operations. This focus supports children to be aware of the wider world.

Teachers foster children's creativity by encouraging them to problem solve, experiment and try new things. They help children to make connections in their learning by revisiting children's ideas and interests, listening well to children and deepening their understanding. Science, the natural world, literacy, mathematics and digital learning are integrated in the programme in meaningful ways.

Teachers' individual professional learning is valued and shared with the team. Teachers are committed to further developing bicultural practices through ongoing consultation with whānau and professional development opportunities.

The kindergarten's strategic plan links well to the AKA plans and shows clear direction for future development. Relevant annual plans guide the kindergarten to achieve its strategic aims. Robust self review processes continue to refine teaching practice and the programme. The teaching team values collaborative reflection and discussion to enhance positive outcomes for children.

AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergarten's individual context. New AKA positions are providing more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A new Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. This process monitors quality, and promotes ongoing improvement in the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

To enhance the current good quality provision for children, teachers plan to further strengthen their bicultural practice through gaining a deeper understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Marlborough 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 Marlborough Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 May 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


Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 34, Girls 31

Ethnic composition















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

March 2016

Date of this report

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

June 2006

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.