Pencarrow Kindergarten - 30/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Pencarrow Kindergarten

How well placed is Pencarrow Kindergarten 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.


Pencarrow Kindergarten is licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 42 children, aged over two years. At the time of this ERO review, 15 of the 33 enrolled identified as Māori and four as of Pacific heritage.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises whanaungatanga, valuing and respecting the mana of the child and their whānau, including wairua, aroha, culture and diversity. All teachers at Pencarrow Kindergarten are fully qualified. Day-to-day operation of the service is the responsibility of the head teacher, who supports the teaching team.

Pencarrow Kindergarten is one of 19 services in the Lower Hutt region, governed and managed by Hutt City Kindergarten Association (the association). Since the June 2015 ERO report, a new senior leadership team has been appointed. This includes a general manager and two senior teachers, guided by a team leader. The governance board has also undergone significant changes.

The previous ERO report identified key next steps for this kindergarten. These included: clearly articulating with whānau the shared vision of success; and continuing to strengthen self-review. Ongoing progress is being made in these areas.

The association also had some areas for development, including: strategic planning; cultural responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families; evaluation; and the appraisal process. Good progress has been made in these areas.

Since the previous ERO report there has been ongoing development of the outdoor learning space. Leaders, teachers, community and whānau have had opportunities to participate in the development of this.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergartens in the Hutt City Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children confidently engage in their learning through a strong bicultural programme. The outside space allows children to take risks, explore and have fun through purposeful and collaborative play. Teachers work alongside learners to build their social competence. Manaakitanga is highly valued. Children and whānau are warmly welcomed and respected.

Kaupapa Māori is well integrated into the programme. Teachers use te reo Māori in meaningful conversations with tamariki. Their success, culture, language and identity are highly valued and promoted in the service. Tikanga practices are well understood by children.

Leaders and teachers effectively establish a culture in which children and their whānau are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Community events and excursions enable children to feel a sense of belonging and connection to Wainuiomata. Leaders and teachers are exploring ways to develop more meaningful learning partnerships with parents and whānau.

Children with diverse needs are well supported in the service. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to enable them to participate in the programme.

Teachers notice children’s emerging interests, recognise opportunities for learning, and respond through offering appropriate experiences. They use Te Whāriki (2017) to guide and support curriculum development. Individualised planning for learning responds to the child’s culture, language and identity. Key next steps to improve this practice include:

  • developing specific learning outcomes for children

  • identifying teaching strategies that will support learning

  • using assessment documentation to clearly show progression towards learning goals.

Children are appropriately supported by teachers as they transition into the kindergarten and when moving on to school. Leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen relationships with local primary schools to promote smooth transitions for children.

An internal evaluation system that provides clear expectations has been implemented to guide this process. Senior teachers are working collaboratively with the teaching team to build their evaluative understanding. Teachers are beginning to deepen their knowledge and understanding of how they can evaluate the impact of their practices on children’s learning. Ongoing support from the association should help to sustain continued improvement.

A comprehensive, well-considered appraisal process is in place. Teachers challenge themselves to continually improve their practice through strategic goal-setting and professional learning. Plans are in place to further strengthen this system by developing an inquiry-based approach to teacher appraisal. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction. This should support teachers to better measure the success of improved practices in promoting outcomes for specific children and priority groups.

The governance board includes a wide range of community representation and useful skills. The board and senior leadership team work well together, with a shared commitment to meeting its goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Resource allocation clearly aligns with this focus. The board and senior leadership actively seek equitable and inclusive ways to eliminate barriers to children’s learning and wellbeing.

ERO, the governance board and senior leaders agree that the association's next steps are to:

  • monitor, evaluate and report on the extent to which children and their families’ outcomes are improved though systems, processes and initiatives. This should include consideration of impact on specific priority groups

  • consider ways to increase opportunities for whānau to actively contribute to the association’s operation and strategic direction.

The association's senior teaching team are reflective and highly improvement focused. Robust, linked systems and processes have been skilfully developed to guide and grow teacher capability and positively impact children’s learning. Leaders are successfully fostering a collective sense of responsibility for the vision, values and mission of the association.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that their priority next steps are to:

  • continue developing aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation to show clear links to outcomes for children, teaching strategies that will support these outcomes and greater progression of children's learning

  • continue to develop more meaningful learning partnerships with parents and whānau

  • continue to access association support for internal evaluation to build practice and promote positive outcomes for children.

The association agrees they should increase focus on:

  • measuring outcomes for children and their families

  • developing whānau and community partnership practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pencarrow 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 Pencarrow Kindergarten will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 August 2018

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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 17, Boys 16

Ethnic composition

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

August 2018

Date of this report

30 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

February 2009

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.