Mary Richmond Kindergarten - 18/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Mary Richmond Kindergarten

How well placed is Mary Richmond Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Mary Richmond Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Mary Richmond Kindergarten is licensed to provide education and care for up to 43 children aged over two years. It is in the Napier suburb of Maraenui and at the time of this external evaluation has a roll of 32 children. A significant number of children are two years old and 30 are Māori. The kindergarten has several children from wider whānau groupings attending. Older children remain for the all-day session, with approximately 12 younger children leaving after lunch each day.

The kindergarten is a silver member of the Enviroschools programme.

The kindergarten philosophy states: 'Belonging, respect and tuakana teina are values and guiding principles of the Mary Richmond Kindergarten community. These are the foundations that will support and foster our children's passion for learning. We empower children's cultural identity and heritage. Kotahitanga - we are all united'.

Mary Richmond Kindergarten is one of 16 kindergartens operating under the governance and management of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day operation of the association is the role of the general manager. Two education managers provide teaching and learning support for teachers. The board employs a Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga (Professional Practice Advisor Māori) to work alongside all association personnel to continue to strengthen cultural responsiveness.

Since the December 2015 ERO evaluation, teachers have continued to strengthen those areas identified for ongoing development.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 kindergartens in the Napier Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children's sense of themselves as successful learners is enhanced through effective teaching practices. Teachers work positively alongside children building their knowledge and independence. They work confidently with parents and whānau to engage them in their children's learning. Teachers recognise and extend on prior knowledge that children bring to their learning. There is a clear sense of respect evident where children, parents and whānau are comfortable in the environment.

Children engage in a wide range of appropriate leadership opportunities. They demonstrate familiarity with the concept of being experts. They take care of each other in a way that recognises and respects each other's contribution. Tuakana teina relationships build on strengthening leadership and compassion. Children's strong sense of belonging and wellbeing are features of the kindergarten.

Māori children and their whānau see that they and their culture are valued. Practices are respectful. Te ao Māori is reflected throughout the environment and resources. Teachers continue to strengthen the bi-cultural curriculum and Te Tiriti-based practices. This should further enhance children's connection to their culture, language and identity.

Planning contributes to a curriculum that responds to children, community strengths and interests. Daily planning as a collaborative teaching team provides continuity of learning for children. Assessment for learning is clearly identified and shows progression of children's learning over time. Learning stories are rich records about what children do and how they learn. Parents work alongside teachers to develop aspirations for their children. They access their children's information through the profile books and online.

Teachers proactively support children with additional learning needs. They work alongside whānau to provide positive experiences for children. External agencies support whānau and teachers so that relevant learning strategies extend children's learning.

Teachers should continue to develop their knowledge and use of effective internal evaluation for ongoing improvement focused on positive learning outcomes for children. Education managers should continue to grow their own knowledge and practice of internal evaluation to better support this process.

The governing board is future focused and has developed a clear strategic direction to meet the diverse needs of its communities. Board members value diversity of viewpoints and gather community and staff voice to inform decision making. Regular reporting by the education managers is useful in identifying how strategic teaching and learning goals are being addressed.

The board places importance on developing teachers' capabilities. Targeted and deliberate building of cultural responsiveness supports Māori children and their whānau to experience success. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Further strengthening of the appraisal process, including targeted observations, should assist teachers to determine how well they are progressing and actively encourage them to improve their effectiveness.

Key Next Steps

Teachers at Mary Richmond Kindergarten should continue to develop and strengthen effective internal evaluation for ongoing improvement.

Education managers should continue to promote sustained improvement and innovation through strengthening:

  • evaluation, inquiry and professional guidance
  • the appraisal process.


Education managers should strengthen their understanding and use of internal evaluation to systematically evaluate their practices and the impact of these on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mary Richmond 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.

To improve current practice, teachers should strengthen, as expected in Napier Kindergarten Association procedures:

  • consistent recording of parental acknowledgement that they have been informed of any injuries, illnesses and incidents that occur to their children
  • regular analysis to inform hazard management and subsequent decision making.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

18 November 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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 17, Male 15

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

18 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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.