Pakuranga Learning Centre - 06/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Pakuranga Learning Centre

How well placed is Pakuranga Learning Centre 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.


Pakuranga Learning Centre provides full day early childhood education and care for up to 80 children, including 25 toddlers and babies. This service had a name change in 2012 and was previously known as Gymkids Preschool Learning Centre and Nursery.

The centre owner, with her team, continues to build an effective and well-resourced early childhood service. The centre's premises are spacious and cater for indoor and outdoor learning programmes. The children work and play in different age groups and sometimes together.

The centre has a well-qualified and experienced teaching team. They have a deep knowledge ofTe Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, which has been merged into the centre's recent review of its philosophy and vision.

The 2013 ERO report recommended teachers' further development of programme planning and to focus more on child-centred learning using the voice of children and parents. The teachers' appraisal systems required updating and self-review generally needed to become a more useful tool to improve centre operations.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is clearly focused on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, prioritising positive learning outcomes for children. The vision statement has been thoroughly reviewed by the new owner and its concepts linked to Te Whāriki. Collectively, teachers are working hard to promote the centre’s philosophy which focuses on the creation of child-centred and initiated programmes.

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. Teachers greet children with enthusiasm and are developing genuine learning partnerships with parents. Children are trusting and relaxed around adults. Children are from diverse families, some of whom live in the area. Others have family members who work in the surrounding light industrial neighbourhood.

Children are highly engaged and busy with their play activities across the expansive indoor rooms. Their interests and strengths are fostered through the centre's programmes. There are leadership opportunities for children to initiate their own ideas, with a number of different interests focused on daily. The outside areas are undergoing review in order to provide more challenge for outdoor play.

Calm and unhurried individualised care routines are evident in the under-two area. Infants benefit from primary care attachments. Toddlers form positive relationships with teachers who are consistently responsive to their needs and support them to become independent explorers. Dispositions and skills development is the focus of planning for the under-two's. Teachers allow children and parents generous time to settle into individual routines when they first enrol.

Learning programmes reflect what teachers know about children. Planning and assessment practices are well embedded after three years of professional development. Individual and group learning stories have detailed descriptions of children’s involvement in the programme and some developing evaluation of their learning progress. Learning is frequently revisited to consolidate and enrich children's understandings.

Aspects of literacy and numeracy learning are integrated into children's play. Readiness for school for the older children is planned for within the current interests of the group. A useful focus on self-managing skills is included. The development of social skills is part of learning through play at all times.

Teachers value the importance of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and are promoting te reo me ōna tikanga as part of their planning and interactions with children. This area of the curriculum continues to be a strategic priority. Celebration and acknowledgement of children’s cultural diversity is evident in the centre’s environment, in display areas and in learning programmes.

The head teacher models purposeful, collaborative leadership practice. Effective systems, such as teacher appraisal and support for provisionally registered teachers, are used as tools to enhance teacher capability. Teachers share their ideas and approaches to extend their professional practice and see the value in reflection for improvement.

The centre’s self-review system is increasingly more meaningful and useful. Responsibility for self-review is distributed across the teaching staff in order to build capability for continuous centre improvement. Strategic planning goals are setting a clear direction for long-term centre development.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders are in agreement that the next phase of centre development could focus on:

  • the continued development of learning partnerships with parents

  • the use of learning stories to foreground and recognise children's learning progress over time

  • the on-going development of bicultural approaches to the curriculum

  • building the capability of teachers to fully enact the centre's philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pakuranga Learning Centre 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 Pakuranga Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

6 May 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


Pakuranga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 8

Ethnic composition





Middle Eastern

Latin American









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

January 2016

Date of this report

6 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

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.