Nuanua Kindergarten - 14/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Nuanua Kindergarten

How well placed is Nuanua 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.


Nuanua 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.

Situated in Cannons Creek, Porirua, Nuanua was the first Pacific Island kindergarten in New Zealand after its initial beginning as culture-based playgroups operating under the Porirua Pacific Island Presbyterian Church (PIC). In 2008, the PIC church approached the ex-Wellington Kindergarten Association with a view to amalgamation, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was subsequently developed.

The association is responsive to the cultural integrity and aspirations of Tifa Ola Akoga Tokelau and Fetu Pupula Aoga Samoa and supports the kindergartens focus on fostering the language and cultures of the Tokelauan and Samoan communities.

In 2014, the kindergarten moved to its new site adjacent to Cannons Creek School and the PIC facility. PIC continues to be involved and supports the kindergarten in an ongoing way, including recently revising the MoU.

The teaching team are all qualified and registered. They reflect the diversity of children and families.

An association run playgroup operates each day in the kindergarten's 'tanoa' community space. A trained registered teacher leads and guides this session.

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. Nuanua also receives guidance from the senior manager responsible for communities and participation.

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 previous ERO report for Nuanua Kindergarten identified that self-review processes, appraisal and annual planning required development. These areas have been a priority for staff and considerable progress has been made.

This review was part of a Pacific cluster of three kindergarten and three home-based services reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children show a positive sense of belonging to the kindergarten. They confidently make choices and enjoy the company of their peers. Older children were observed supporting younger children with their play. There are some good opportunities for children to be involved in play for extended periods and lead their learning.

Language, culture and identity are valued, visible and actively encouraged. Relevant contexts for learning and culturally appropriate experiences are integral to the programme.

Teachers foster connections to home, kindergarten and the community to support children's learning and wellbeing. Staff knowledge of children's culture supports effective curriculum responses. There are many ways that parents, families, aiga and the wider community are involved in the kindergarten.

There are good opportunities for children to learn about healthy eating and active movement.

Teachers continue to work with the association's Kaitiaki o Kaupapa Māori to further grow their knowledge of te ao Māori.

There have been significant developments in establishing and building systems that assist in promoting positive learning outcomes. These include: regular purposeful team meetings and teacher practice discussions; involvement in professional learning and development responsive to staff needs, strengths and interests; and improvements to self review, and health and safety systems.

Ongoing development of assessment and planning processes are more clearly showing children's learning and how teachers support this in the programme.

Managers and senior teachers are successfully leading change and improvements to kindergarten practices. They support teachers to critically reflect on and grow their practice. Self-review processes are in place. These are used to inform and improve curriculum responsiveness. The current self review of interactions should be useful in supporting the focus on deepening interactions between teachers and children.

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.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal process. 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

ERO, the senior teacher, senior head teacher and staff and agree that the key next steps for Nuanua Kindergarten are to continue developing and embedding assessment, planning and internal evaluation.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 June 2016

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

60 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 13

Ethnic composition





Cook Island






Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

14 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 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 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.