Ohakune Kindergarten - 11/06/2019

1 Evaluation of Ohakune Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Ohakune Kindergarten is in Ohakune on the Central Plateau. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:45am until 2:45pm. Full day places are available for children aged from two to six years.

The philosophy statement makes links to the centre pepeha and emphasises the development of children as resilient, confident communicators who are respectful, inclusive and positive lifelong learners.

The December 2015 ERO report identified that assessment for children's learning and understanding of internal evaluation required further development. Some progress has been made in these areas.

Ohakune is one of 15 kindergartens governed and managed by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the general manager, who is responsible to the board.

Since April 2018, the association's programme of professional learning and development and curriculum implementation has been managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. An association senior teacher and two senior teachers from Whānau Manaaki provide regular support for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of 15 in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated.

The Review Findings

Children are highly engaged in a bicultural curriculum that successfully reflects the local community. The centre philosophy connects children's learning to local places of significance for Māori. There is a strong focus on sustainability and wellbeing in line with community priorities.

Children's play reflects their life experiences. They predominantly lead their own learning. Teachers take opportunities to extend children's emerging ideas about how the world works. Local events and excursions support them to make connections to the wider community.

Teachers are implementing strategies that promote Māori children's educational success. The curriculum includes concepts, knowledge, skills and practices that reflect te āo Māori and leadership opportunities are provided for children. Teachers seek ways to support iwi educational aims within the wider community.

A community approach effectively creates an inclusive learning environment. Teachers work to build social competence in children. Those with additional learning needs are well supported to progress their learning. Teachers are proactive and resourceful to achieve this, working collaboratively with whānau and external agencies.

Children's transition in to and out of the kindergarten are responsive to individual needs. Teachers continue to work with the neighbouring school to strengthen the transition process. Useful information is shared about children's learning that connects the early childhood and school curriculums.

Individual and group planning continues to be refined to inform the programme and ensure children's interests are incorporated. An online platform allows parents to have continuing input into their child's learning and their aspirations form the basis of planning. 'Taonga pukapuka' documents children's participation in the programme, dispositions and developing skills.

It is timely to evaluate assessment, planning and evaluation practices to gauge how effectively:

  • parent input is captured and responded to

  • children's cultures, languages and identities are reflected throughout the process

  • all aspects of the offered curriculum are encompassed.

Teachers are supported to progress their understanding and use of effective internal evaluation. A useful framework is used well to guide the process. Continuing to implement this should further support positive outcomes for children and whānau.

The governing board is future-focused and has taken appropriate steps to strengthen opportunities for teachers’ professional learning and development. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Consistency of its implementation across all kindergartens requires strengthening.

Key Next Steps

Association leaders and ERO agree that for ongoing and sustained improvement, staff at Ohakune Kindergarten should continue to embed internal evaluation processes and use this to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of kindergarten practices.

The senior management team of Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated should continue to strengthen the implementation of teacher appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ohakune 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

11 June 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

30 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

11 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

June 2008

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.