Martinborough Kindergarten - 17/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Martinborough Kindergarten

How well placed is Martinborough 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.


Martinborough Kindergarten is located in Martinborough, a small rural town in the South Wairarapa District. It is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. This is the first review for the kindergarten since the merger.

The service is licensed for 40 children aged over two years, and of the children enrolled, five are Māori. Since the August 2013 ERO report, the kindergarten has diversified to offer five, six hour sessions for a mixed-age group. Parents also have the option of whānau grouping for their children. The building has been extended to accommodate the increased number for which the kindergarten is licensed.

Since the previous ERO review, there have been changes to the teaching team and the association's senior teacher. All teachers are qualified and certificated. One teacher is studying towards a Post Graduate Diploma in specialist teaching, endorsed in early intervention.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the Wellington association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Its introduction within the exRimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015, with kindergartens adapting it to respond to their community. Martinborough Kindergarten teachers are refining practices to increasingly use this document to guide teaching and learning. 

The previous ERO report for Martinborough Kindergarten, identified that embedding understanding and use of self review and further developing assessment, planning and evaluation processes were required. Positive progress in responding to these areas has occurred.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's philosophy has strong emphasis on ensuring that teaching practice and the environment reflect the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The programme, environment and resources provide children with a varied range of activities and learning opportunities. The outdoor area has been developed to support an increased choice of challenging learning experiences. Literacy and mathematical learning feature meaningfully within a variety of experiences throughout the curriculum.

Children show engagement in their learning and have fun. They demonstrate independence, confidence and cooperative skills. Teachers have positive and responsive relationships with children and encourage peer interactions.

Staff ensure that teaching practice and the environment are supportive and inclusive. They share values that encourage respectful behaviour and support children's developing social competencies. Teachers successfully consider ways to further enhance aspects of the programme and environment to better meet the needs of the younger children attending the kindergarten.

Assessment is increasingly responsive to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Teachers’ observations of learning are reflected in portfolios and a variety of visual displays within the kindergarten. Further evaluation of the impact of intentional teaching strategies and curriculum decisions, should help to determine next development steps and enhance outcomes for children.

Parents are welcomed and acknowledged as their child’s first teacher. Staff provide encouragement and opportunities for parents to contribute to their child’s learning. Teachers are currently focusing on seeking ways to invite families to share the aspirations they have for their child.

Children experience a range of opportunities to learn about Aotearoa/New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers continue to explore ways of enhancing culturally responsive practices for Māori learners.

Transition to school focuses on children feeling well supported and confident in a new situation. Kindergarten teachers support families with information and discussion. Positive relationships have been developed with the adjacent school.

Staff are well-supported, by an experienced head teacher, to use their expertise and develop leadership skills further. Internal evaluation is valued and teachers take time to critically reflect on their practice. Appropriate use is made of current best practice to support developing evaluation processes. 

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Martinborough Kindergarten:

  • strengthen evaluation practices and teacher inquiry, by deepening the analysis of evidence gathered to guide future teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 January 2017

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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 29, Boys 20

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

October 2016

Date of this report

17 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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.