Oxford Early Learning Centre - 26/10/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Oxford Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Oxford Early Learning Centre is a rural, Christian, community-based service. It is governed by active, committed trustees.

The curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, the principles of which are closely aligned to the Christian values and virtues that are promoted by the centre staff and the trustees. The service philosophy is underpinned by shared values and beliefs which are clearly evident in centre operation and practices.

Since the October 2009 ERO review, the service has been relicensed under the Education (Early Childhood) Regulations 2008.

The Review Findings

The trustees and management team work effectively together to provide positive outcomes for children and families. They place an emphasis on fostering respectful and supportive relationships with families.

The trustees and centre staff make purposeful links with the community to support families. They have established professional relationships with the local school which help children to transition easily to school.

The managers and teachers value parent participation in the life of the centre. They regularly consult with parents to gain their point of view about their children’s learning and the operation of the centre.

The centre manager and supervisor work well together. They use a robust appraisal process to support teachers to reflect on and continually improve their teaching practices and learning outcomes for children.

The centre supervisor provides strong curriculum leadership that:

  • promotes the centre philosophy
  • builds and supports professional practices
  • develops relationships and collaborative ways of working
  • provides opportunities for leadership at all levels.

The management team has developed and implemented effective systems for self review that are ongoing and responsive to identified priorities. All centre staff participate in and have opportunities to lead centre reviews. They gather and analyse useful information from a range of sources. The impact of these changes has impacted positively on teaching and learning outcomes for children. Centre self review informs decision-making at the governance level and teacher professional development.

Children benefit from an inclusive, nurturing environment that encompasses Christian values and beliefs. Teachers are sensitive, warm and caring in their interactions with children. They place a strong focus on fostering children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging.

The centre programme is based on a mix of free play and structured group times. In the unstructured part of the programme, children make their own choices from a good range of activities and resources. Teachers are actively involved in children’s play and build on their emerging interests. They use a range of strategies to enhance children’s oral language and conversation skills.

Children are well supported to develop successful social relationships with others. During the review, ERO observed children who were confident to interact with adults and other children.

Children have many opportunities to learn about Māori values and the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa. Tikanga and te reo Māori are woven into aspects of curriculum practices and routines.

The spacious and natural outdoor areas provide many opportunities for physical play and for children to explore and make their own discoveries.

Teachers in the nursery area develop secure and trusting relationships with infants and toddlers. They listen carefully and respond to the individual needs of children, and support their development through meaningful dialogue. Children are actively encouraged to develop respectful relationships with others.

The service has a comprehensive annual plan which covers curriculum review and all other aspects of the service's operation. ERO identified and the trustees agreed that the next step is to develop a strategic plan which clearly identifies the service's priorities and associated goals towards achieving its vision. During the on-site stage of the review, the centre manager took steps to begin this process.

The centre management team is currently involved in in-depth assessment review. Managers are at the early stages of implementing new programme planning systems to make teaching and learning more visible. The next steps are to ensure that these include:

  • learning outcomes for children
  • teaching strategies to add value to children’s learning
  • an evaluation of the impact of teaching strategies on learning outcomes for children.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Oxford Early Learning Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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.Click here to enter text.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

26 October 2012

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Oxford, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 56% Boys 44%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other Ethnicities





Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

26 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

October 2009

July 2007

December 2005

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.