Patoka Rural Kindergarten - 07/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Patoka Rural Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Patoka Rural Kindergarten is situated in the community of Patoka, 40 kilometres north-west of Napier. It operates three days a week and is licensed to provide education and care for up to 20 children.

A parent committee governs the centre. The head teacher manages the day-to-day operation of the centre, supporting the teaching team.

The service philosophy focuses on children experiencing play, whanaungatanga, respect, belonging and happiness.

The November 2016 ERO report identified areas requiring further improvement. These included: reviewing the centre philosophy; developing assessment, planning and evaluation; strengthening the bicultural curriculum, and teachers' understanding of educational success for Māori children; improving the appraisal systems; and ensuring required policies are in place for sustaining ongoing improvement.

A plan to address the key areas requiring improvement was put in place, in consultation with the Ministry of Education (MoE). The service received targeted support through the MoE funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). Significant progress has been made and areas of non-compliance have been addressed.

The Review Findings

Children engage in purposeful learning through a mixture of child and teacher-led activities. They freely access flexible resources that support their interests. Excursions into the community gives children growing knowledge of the world around them. Independence and working in groups are promoted. Warm and respectful relationships are evident between children and with teachers. Teachers use effective teaching strategies to extend children’s learning.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported to participate fully in learning. Teachers are proactive in identifying and responding to their needs. They work alongside parents to determine children's learning goals.

The recently reviewed centre philosophy is underpinned by the shared values of teachers, parents, whānau and community to determine what learning matters at Patoka Rural Kindergarten. Leaders and teachers express what this looks like in practice.

A shift to individualised planning has increased teachers' responsiveness to children’s interests, strengths and needs. Teachers are beginning to use parent aspirations to define what educational success looks like for all parents and their children. Learning is regularly discussed with parents and whānau and their goals for their child are integrated into the planning process.

Leaders acknowledge that assessment and planning require improvement. Further consideration should also be given to:

  • strengthening assessment practice to show progress of individual children over time
  • celebrating children’s culture, language and identity

  • developing specific learning outcomes for children, especially in group planning.

Aspects of kaupapa Māori are strongly evident and well promoted in the programme. Teachers have engaged in meaningful professional learning and development to build knowledge and understanding of how to increase te ao Māori perspectives across the curriculum. Te reo and waiata Māori are used to enrich the programme. Teachers are beginning to incorporate practices that connect children to places of significant value to the centre and their community.

Teachers are beginning to use Tapasā: Cultural Competencies Framework for Teachers of Pacific Learners, to build their understanding of how they can respond effectively to Pacific children and their families. They are making purposeful connections with Pacific families to determine what is important for them and their children.

The newly developed appraisal system is a sound framework to grow and develop teachers' practice and capability. Leaders should continue to refine this process by ensuring that it is manageable, consistently implemented and aligned to the new Teaching Standards.

The centre’s policies and procedure have been significantly redeveloped to ensure that these are up-to-date and meeting legislative requirements. These are regularly reviewed. The parent committee, leaders and teachers show an increased understanding of the operational requirements of the centre, that support ongoing sustainability and improvement.

Leaders have developed annual and strategic plans that set priorities and direction for the centre. Further consideration should be given to developing indicators that are clearly linked to outcomes for children and their whānau. This should assist them to better measure the progress towards achieving goals and objectives.

There is a focus on improving the quality of education and care through ongoing self review and strengthened understanding of internal evaluation. Further consideration should be given to identifying indicators focused on outcomes for children and their whānau and evidence that is aligned to the focus of the evaluation.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre leaders agree that their priority next steps are to:

  • enhance the centre's philosophy

  • strengthen the assessment and planning framework

  • refine the appraisal process

  • strengthen the strategic plan

  • improve aspects of the internal evaluation process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Patoka Rural 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Patoka Rural Kindergarten will be in three years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

7 February 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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 9, Girls 7

Ethnic composition



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

November 2018

Date of this report

7 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2016

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

August 2010

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.