Masterton West Kindergarten - 15/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Masterton West Kindergarten

How well placed is Masterton West 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.


Masterton West Kindergarten is situated in suburban Masterton. 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 61 children enrolled, 7 are Māori. The kindergarten offers five six hour sessions for a mixed age group. Parents also have the option of whānau grouping for their children.

The kindergarten’s teaching philosophy is underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki that empowers children to learn and grow and encourages their curiosity, awareness and respect for the environment.

Since the August 2013 ERO review, there have been some changes to the teaching and the association's senior teacher teams. All teachers are qualified and certificated.

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 ex-Rimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015, with kindergartens adapting it to respond to their community. Masterton West Kindergarten teachers are refining practices to increasingly use this document to guide teaching and learning. 

The 2013 ERO report for Masterton West Kindergarten identified that building understanding of self review, further developing assessment and planning and giving greater significance to Māori learners' culture, language and identity was required. Positive progress in responding to these areas has occurred.

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

The Review Findings

Well-designed and resourced environments invite children's participation in a stimulating range of learning opportunities. A rich variety of experiences for children increases their understanding of reading, writing and mathematics in meaningful ways. Children's active exploration is stimulated and encouraged. They show positive attitudes and take increased responsibility for their own learning.

Children confidently take part in learning and are competent and enthusiastic learners. They make choices about play and set challenges for themselves. Children initiate conversations and interactions with their peers and adults. They develop cooperative relationships through their engagement and have fun.

Assessment is responsive to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Teachers' approach to assessment for learning is a current focus for the teaching team. An on-line programme supports improved parent communication about children's plans, progress and achievements. Ongoing enhancement of teaching strategies and evaluation of curriculum decisions to determine next steps should continue to enrich outcomes for children.

Teachers effectively support children to settle into kindergarten sessions. Positive, reciprocal relationships with the local school help children and families with the move to the new entrant classroom. Transition processes support teachers to enhance outcomes for children as they move to a significant number of other schools.

Teachers increasingly acknowledge and value the culture of Māori learners, linked to place and identity. Te ao Māori is a meaningful part of children’s daily experiences. Teachers recognise they should continue to develop their understandings of culturally responsive practices.

The head teacher provides collaborative leadership and values the skills and knowledge of the kindergarten team. Staff are reflective and improvement focused. Effective use is made of current best practice to support inquiry into teaching practices and to develop shared understandings of internal evaluation to improve children's learning.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. They complete 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, senior head teacher, staff and ERO agree that the following key next steps for Masterton West Kindergarten are to continue:

  • to improve assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide future teaching and learning

  • the ongoing development for shared understandings of internal evaluation.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 February 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

Boys 36, Girls 25

Ethnic composition













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

15 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Accountability Review

January 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.