Newlands Kindergarten - 22/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Newlands Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With ongoing, targeted association support, Newlands Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Further development is needed in management, systems and leadership.

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


Newlands Kindergarten 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. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

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 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.

The June 2012 ERO report for Newlands Kindergarten identified at centre level that assessment, self review, appraisal, recognition of cultural identities of children and families and use of te reo Māori needed further development.

Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified at the time. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergarten’s annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

Since the previous ERO report, hours of operation have changed and a full-day service now operates for children from two years to school age. Six Māori children are enrolled. Younger children attend Mondays and Fridays, with older children attending Tuesday to Thursday. Some children attend for five days. Staff numbers have increased. Structural changes to the internal building have been completed so that the centre functions more efficiently.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 kindergarten reviews in He Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Aspects of the centre’s philosophy are evident in practice. This philosophy focuses on providing a welcoming environment that is mindful of children’s mana and holistic learning. Children have relationships that are caring and responsive. They have some opportunities to make choices in the programme and sustain their interests and learning activities. Teachers purposefully support children’s social learning and play.

Children with additional needs are positively supported. Teachers are inclusive and involve families in decisions that affect their children while at kindergarten. A next step is to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies identified for supporting children in the individual learning plans and more closely monitor their learning.

Assessment portfolios provide a useful record of children’s participation and involvement in kindergarten experiences and activities. Recent developments to group-planning processes include capturing children’s emerging interests and making these visible for parents and whānau. Teachers need to improve these records to more clearly and consistently identify and respond to children's learning and their next steps.

Children have some opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers and leaders acknowledge that they need to build their capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity. This development should include establishing strong and supportive relationships with whānau and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as,

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Cultural celebrations and family expertise are used to provide some rich experiences for children. Oral language activities support the development of children with English as a second language. A next step is to more clearly integrate the language, culture and identity of these children in the curriculum. Staff should consider how to capture children's language development in learning stories.

Teachers are beginning to establish some good links with local schools in order to support positive transitions for children and their families. They are exploring ways to further enhance this process.

Teachers at Newlands Kindergarten are at the early stages of inquiring into aspects of their teaching practice. A recent review has resulted in positive changes in practices to support children and families from diverse backgrounds. There is a greater consideration of ways to share information between teachers and families. High emphasis is placed on developing positive relationships with children and their families.

Staff are at an early stage of using Te Manawa as a tool to measure the effectiveness of their delivery of the curriculum. These review processes require further development. Next steps in self review and evaluation, to guide decisions for improvement to teaching and learning, are to strengthen the use of evidence-based indicators of effective practice.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, and teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development. The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. This continues to require development. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The kindergarten and association have yet to fully address all areas for development identified in the 2012 ERO report. The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Newlands Kindergarten. They should:

  • develop understanding and use of self review
  • improve assessment and programme planning
  • more closely monitor the learning of children with English as a second language and those with individual programmes
  • more clearly integrate language, culture and identity to support success for Māori
  • in the curriculum, reflect the ethnicities of all children who attend
  • strengthen leadership through targeted support
  • provide leadership opportunities for teachers.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. These should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system
  • building teachers’ capability to be more responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity.

Progress against an action plan, that addresses the key next steps, will be monitored by ERO.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

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


Newlands, Wellington

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 38,
Girls 37

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

April 2015

Date of this report

22 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

April 2008

Education Review

June 2005

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.