Onslow Kindergarten - 17/09/2019

1 Evaluation of Onslow Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Onslow Kindergarten is a long-established centre located in Khandallah, Wellington. Since the June 2015 ERO report, there have been some changes to the staff including a head teacher starting in term two.

Onslow Kindergarten is licensed to provide all-day education and care for children aged over two years. It has a roll of 64 children. This flexible service provides whānau-based curriculum where siblings can attend together.

The recently reviewed philosophy emphasises the importance of a nurturing and respectful environment. Teachers are developing children's resilience through building strong social competence. A priority is that the curriculum will uphold the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and respond to the interests and strengths of all children.

Onslow 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 building teachers’ capabilities to be more responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity, and enhancing culturally-responsive teaching practice. The kindergarten has continued to progress these.

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 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is clearly evident in practice and promotes positive outcomes for children. The importance of care and respect for others is modelled by teachers and evident in children's actions and interactions. Children and families experience responsive, reciprocal and nurturing interactions with teachers. Teachers use consistent strategies to promote a strong sense of belonging for children as self-managing learners.

An effective planning for learning framework guides teachers' practice and is based on children’s emerging interests. Teachers facilitate learning and encourage building children's social competencies. Effective questioning invites and extends ideas, oral language and numeracy. Teachers work collaboratively to make this practice consistent for all children.

Teachers encourage children to lead their learning at their own pace and support this through the purposeful design of the learning environment. The layout supports indoor and outdoor play allowing children to create, explore and investigate. An extensive range of easily accessed resources stimulate sustained child-led play.

Aspects of bicultural practice are clearly evident in daily routines. Te ao Māori experiences are a feature in the curriculum and provide authentic opportunities to learn. Teachers are increasingly including children’s culture, language and identity in learning stories. Continuing to build partnerships with whānau to promote the learning success of Māori and Pacific children needs to continue to be a priority.

Assessment portfolios show children's learning and interests. Teachers value parent aspirations and encourage them to contribute to learning. A next step for leaders and teachers is to more consistently show in learning records intentional teaching strategies and how these support learning.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused and regularly reflect on aspects of practice. Continuing to build shared understanding of evaluation and how it should be used to judge the effectiveness of practice and outcomes for children is a key next step.

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 a 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

Onslow kindergarten, with the support of senior teachers, should continue to:

  • develop teacher capability to better meet aspirations in bicultural practice and continue to build relationships with whānau to promote the learning success of Māori and Pacific children

  • strengthen documentation that clearly aligns to and reflects the association expectations

  • build a shared understanding of internal evaluation against clear indicators of success to better identify the impact of teaching on learning outcomes for children.

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

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

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Onslow 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

17 September 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

41 children over two years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 35, Girls 29

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

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

17 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

December 2011

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.