Oak Tree The Early Childhood Learning Centre - 05/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Oak Tree - Warkworth

How well placed is Oak Tree - Warkworth 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.


Oak Tree Centre - Warkworth is a well established service that provides education and care for children over two years of age. The centre’s hours reflect the needs of families in the Warkworth community. The centre is privately owned and managed under the guidance of ECE Management which is owned by the Evolve Education Group. An area manager from ECE Management provides ongoing support for the teachers and supervisor at the centre.

Over many years the centre’s teaching team has established trusting relationships with parents and whānau and this is valued by the community. The centre’s philosophy is a living document and highly evident in centre practice. Teachers are well qualified and committed to professional development.

In 2012 ERO recommended that teachers continue to engage in professional development and develop reflective practices around teaching and learning, and programme management. This work is underway. ERO identified that strategic planning and self-review processes be established to support ongoing centre improvement. Strategic planning and self review development is now evident at a number of levels. Senior leaders understand that further developing strategic planning and self review will benefit the centre. They are committed to taking it to the next stage.

The Review Findings

Oak Tree centre is characterised by high quality relationships. Teachers acknowledge children as capable and competent learners. This is reflected in the learning programme, the centre environment, and the respectful interactions between adults and children. Parents are welcomed and supported into the centre. They report they feel valued as partners in their children’s education. They also note that teachers encourage them to participate fully in all aspects of the programme.

Teachers implement very good learning programmes for children. They have high expectations of children. Teachers honour children’s uniqueness by ensuring programmes meet the strengths and interests of all learners. Children benefit from teachers who are responsive to their social, physical and emotional needs.

Children are supported to become independent and to manage themselves in a range of situations. They have opportunities for problem solving and challenge and participate readily in prolonged periods of uninterrupted play. Children move easily to new activities and learning opportunities. They confidently engage in new experiences and are resilient when encountering obstacles and difficulties.

Children’s oral language is expanded through teachers’ use of rich language. Some teachers use open ended questions to encourage conversations. They listen to children carefully. Teachers provide children with challenges by provoking their thinking and scaffolding their responses. Children confidently engage in conversations with each other.

Children are self directed and make deliberate and independent decisions about the direction of their learning. They work collaboratively with and alongside each other. Older children accommodate younger children who are still developing social and group skills by providing tuakana-teina support and encouragement to play.

Teachers are continuing to develop te Ao Māori within learning programmes and within the life of the centre. Children have the opportunity to participate in kapa haka through visits to the centre by the local college kapa haka group. Teachers are aware of the importance of including tikanga Māori and te reo in the curriculum and it is evident in the daily programme and centre environment.

Teachers are continuing to improve aspects of programme planning, assessment, evaluation and self review. Good progress is evident. Senior leaders and ERO agree that further professional development will further improve teaching and learning opportunities for children. This together with improved professional reflection and appraisal processes should help to build teacher and centre capacity.

Although strategic planning is underway centre managers agree that they should now deepen this process. They also plan to focus more on long term goals for all areas of the centre. An overarching strategic planning document would help to ensure that connections, progress and outcomes can be readily seen and understood by all.

Key Next Steps

The centre and ERO agree that the following key areas for the centre should include:

  • using assessment and evaluation to further develop learning stories to show the individual growth and development of children
  • review existing teacher appraisal processes and link this into the establishment of a professional learning community driven by self review
  • review planning, assessment, evaluation and self review with the purpose of lifting these processes to the next level of improved professional inquiry
  • unify key centre documents, so they sit under centre values and meaningfully feed into a process of centre- wide and comprehensive strategic planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Oak Tree - Warkworth 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 Oak Tree - Warkworth will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 March 2015

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


Warkworth, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20 Girls 11

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

January 2015

Date of this report

5 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Previously reviewed as:The Early Childhood Learning Centre


Education Review

April 2012


Education Review

March 2009


Education Review

March 2007

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.