Motueka Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten - 21/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Motueka Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten

How well placed is Motueka Rudolf Steiner 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.


Motueka Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten provides education and care for children aged from three-to-six years. It is part of a charitable trust that oversees the governance of the kindergarten and the Rudolf Steiner primary school in Motueka. Almost all teachers are qualified and have training and/or qualifications in Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) education.

Children come from a range of cultural backgrounds. To better meet the needs of parents and whānau, the kindergarten has increased its service to 48 weeks within the year.

Since the November 2014 ERO review, a full-time kindergarten manager has been appointed and some new teachers. Overall, the kindergarten has made good progress against most of the recommendations in ERO's report. Internal evaluation remains an area to further develop.

The Review Findings

The Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) approach to children's learning is strongly evident in this kindergarten's philosophy and in what children experience each day. Valued outcomes for children's learning include perseverance, resilience, confidence to express themselves, creativity and imagination through self-initiated play. These priorities for children's learning are central to the daily programme and the way adults interact with children. Teachers focus on the holistic wellbeing of each child, developing social competency and a deep curiosity. Teachers also foster children's sense of belonging through valuing rhythm, routines, celebrations and festivals.

Other strengths in this kindergarten are:

  • the way teachers respectfully interact with children and follow their lead
  • the thoughtful and well-presented environments and resources that foster wonder and creativity
  • its calm unhurried approach to learning, that leads to settled and sustained play
  • the growing valuing and inclusion of te ao Māori, that supports Māori children to stand proud in their identity and for other children to learn about Māori culture
  • rich oral language experiences that provide a sound foundation for early literacy. 

The manager and teachers have built strong partnerships to support children's learning. Teachers work very closely with parents, especially when a child needs additional support. Close links with the Rudolf Steiner school contribute to smooth transitions to school when children turn seven.

Teachers know the children very well as individuals and as learners. Records of learning intentionally show the child as a Rudolf Steiner learner. Kindergarten leaders and ERO have identified that assessment, planning and evaluation systems and documents could have a greater focus on learning and how teachers support this.

Overall, there are good processes to ensure the smooth running of the kindergarten. This is evident in:

  • the well-considered strategic priorities for future development
  • how practices and systems align well to Rudolf Steiner and other strategic priorities
  • the way teachers and leaders are reflective and improvement focused
  • the way a period of change has been wisely managed, resulting in improved systems and practices.

Leaders and teachers need to improve their understanding and use of effective internal evaluation. Reviews need to be more evaluative and make use of best-practice indicators. Evaluation also need to be extended to consider how well the kindergarten's valued outcomes for children's learning and key practices (such as, assessment) are enacted.

Key Next Steps

The next steps for the owners and teachers are to:

  • have a greater focus on children's learning in assessment, planning and evaluation
  • deepen understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • continue to strengthen key kindergarten systems, such as appraisal and clarification of roles and responsibilities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

21 February 2018

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for


Service roll


Gender composition

Girls:      22

Boys:     14

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

21 February 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review 

January 2015

November 2011

September 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.