Newtown Kindergarten - 21/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Newtown Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Newtown Kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Newtown Kindergarten is situated in Wellington. It provides all-day education and care for up to 42 children, aged over two years. A diverse range of cultures attend the kindergarten.

The head teacher is responsible for managing day-to-day operations. They also provide support to the teaching team. Most teachers are qualified. Since the June 2015 ERO review, some developments of the indoor learning area have been undertaken.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of empowerment, holistic development, family and community relationships. This is purposefully underpinned by their Kawa of rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, kotahitanga and kaitiakitanga.

Newtown Kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). The chief executive and a board of trustees are responsible for the governance. A team of senior teachers oversee and support the professional practice of the teaching team. The association governs 102 kindergartens which includes three Pasifika kindergartens and a Pasifika home-based service with two networks.

ERO's June 2015 report identified areas requiring further development. These included assessment, and self review. Very good progress has been made in addressing these areas for improvement.

Progress has been made by the association to improve the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

This review was one of nine in He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children play, learn and have fun in a play-based programme that celebrates the cultural diversity of each child and their whānau. They have many opportunities to explore and create. Teachers effectively use a range of intentional teaching strategies to support and extend children's interests. Positive and respectful interactions are highly evident.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices are highly valued and reflected in the service. Teachers enrich children’s learning through well-considered kaupapa Māori experiences. Waiata Māori and pakiwaitara are used in meaningful group activities. Places of value to Māori and their community are celebrated and embedded in the programme. This foundation for all children also strongly supports Māori success as Māori.

An effective planning for learning framework guides teacher practice and is based on children’s emerging interests. Teachers recognise what is important for learning by using Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, to develop specific learning outcomes. They respond by creating meaningful learning experiences.

Children’s cultures, languages and identities are successfully celebrated within the programme. Planned cultural events provide opportunities for children, parents and whānau to come together as a community in meaningful ways. Family expertise is used effectively to extend both children's and teachers knowledge and understandings. Acknowledging the cultural diversity in the kindergarten is skilfully woven in assessment documentation.

Teachers work with parents and whānau in partnership to establish specific goals for their child. This information is used effectively to identify what learning matters. Purposeful conversations in children's learning stories provide opportunities for families and whānau to actively contribute.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported. External agencies are accessed when required.

The teaching team are highly improvement focused and use internal evaluation well to reflect on their practice and inform improvements. When undertaking the analysis of the evidence gathered, teachers should consider how they can use success indicators to assist them in making decisions on improving outcomes for children.

Leaders and teachers have identified a need to explore ways that enable parents, whānau and their pacific community to more effectively contribute to decisions about review and development.

Leaders establish a culture in which children and their whānau are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to the kindergarten. Collaborative ways of working are fostered. Teachers are encouraged to lead many aspects within the curriculum.

A well-considered appraisal process has recently been enhanced to grow and develop teacher practice. Teachers are expected to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Purposeful appraisal goals focus on improving aspects of leadership and practice to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

The senior teaching team are reflective and highly improvement focused. They successfully foster collective sense of responsibility to implement the vision, values and mission of the association. Systems and processes have been well developed to guide teacher’s capability and positively impact on children’s learning.

Senior leaders work effectively together, with a shared commitment to meeting strategic goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Well-considered resource allocation supports and enhances children’s learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for teachers are to:

  • continue to develop meaningful strategies that enable greater participation with parents, whānau Māori, and their pacific community when next reviewing the kindergarten's philosophy, and continue to enhance their understanding and implementation of internal evaluation for improvement.

ERO and senior leaders agree that the association's next step is to:

  • continue to follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi Based Strategic Priority Framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Newtown 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

21 August 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

42 children aged over two years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 28, Boys 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

21 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

July 2012

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.