Matariki Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten - 07/08/2014

1 Evaluation of Matariki Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten

How well placed is Matariki Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Matariki Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Matariki Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is located in Palmerston North and caters for children aged 3 to 6 years. The kindergarten is licensed for 25 children. Currently enrolled are 21 children from a range of cultures. The Rudolf Steiner philosophy underpins the programme and the learning environment.

Since the November 2011 ERO review, landscaping, building modifications and a new Puawai room to provide for small groups and younger children have improved facilities. In 2012 the kindergarten was relicensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten strongly reflects the Rudolf Steiner philosophy. The natural environment is well organised and homely. Daily and seasonal rhythms effectively foster children’s strong sense of security.

The spacious main room and the newly opened Puawai room provide many opportunities for imaginative and physical play. These rooms have a good range of resources to successfully support children’s choices, creativity and learning. Teachers and the management committee should now consider how to better resource the outdoor area to provide further challenges and opportunities.

The curriculum follows the rhythm of the seasons and the routine of the day. Festivals relevant to children’s cultures are celebrated. Teachers plan a programme that is consistent with the Steiner philosophy and incorporates the five strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Assessment, planning and evaluation of the programme is established. However, teachers and the management committee need to review and document a set of collaboratively agreed principles that reflect current practice. The children’s portfolios are generally good. The best provide a valuable record of children's participation in a wide range of learning areas and their developing knowledge, skills and social interactions.

Teachers are not always providing rich language opportunities for children to extend their vocabulary and have meaningful conversations. Teachers recognise the need for further professional development to support children whose first language is other than English.

Teachers have established a useful programme of self review. The process used is sufficiently evaluative to affirm current practice or identify changes, based on research.

Teachers' appraisal is conducted externally, at Rudolf Steiner federation level. The process is reasonably robust and leads to professional development opportunities. The policy and procedures do not reflect practice and need to be revised. Linking appraisal to teacher registration criteria is a further next step.

Parents have a close relationship with teachers and often linger when dropping off and collecting their children. This partnership is strengthened annually when the teachers visit the children’s homes to hear parents’ aspirations.

The kindergarten is inclusive of all families. The particular needs of individual children are sensitively and capably met. There is evidence of bicultural practice in the environment and in the daily rhythms, including te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers acknowledge that their abilities in this area need further development.

Trust and management committee members are fully informed and supportive of the kindergarten. Appropriate structures are in place to sustain the kindergarten’s strengths and to implement the key next steps.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agree that the key next steps for teachers are:

  • revise and document principles and procedures for programme planning and assessment
  • to seek further professional development to better provide for English language learners
  • to review the outdoor play area to determine how well the environment is resourced to encourage exploration and learning
  • to further develop the appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Matariki Rudolf Steiner 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 Matariki Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

7 August 2014

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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 12

Girls 9

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1 : 8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

7 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011


Education Review

June 2008


Education Review

September 2004

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.