Pigeon Mountain Kindergarten - 29/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Pigeon Mountain Kindergarten

Pigeon Mountain Kindergarten How well placed isto 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.


Pigeon Mountain Kindergarten provides good quality education and care for children in East Auckland. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children from two to five years. It offers a Kindergarten Day Model of six hour days.

The kindergarten team includes a head teacher, three other registered teachers and an administrator. They are all new to the kindergarten since the 2012 ERO review. The team also includes an untrained teacher and a teacher aide. This team has developed its own philosophy with core values fostering a safe educational environment where nurturing and respectful relationships are evident. Parents and children have been involved in long term reviews that have resulted in improved outside play areas.

The kindergarten is well established and has a history of positive ERO reports. ERO’s 2012 report noted in particular the inclusive relationships, and comprehensive range of activities to promote children's engagement. The teaching team has sustained these features.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides considered leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

After extensive review, consultation and development, the Auckland Kindergarten Association has recently launched a new 10-year strategic direction. Its four strategic pillars or objectives relate to educational excellence, core organisational processes, community engagement and a future focus. These objectives are intended to guide the Association and its kindergartens in their ongoing development. The Association’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New Association roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergarten operations, curriculum and development. Professional development is planned to support kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being developed and will be to monitor quality in kindergartens and contribute to self review and ongoing improvement.

This review is one of a cluster of ten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten is community focused, fostering respectful reciprocal relationships. Children and their families are warmly welcomed and they show a strong sense of well being and belonging. Children develop good social skills and they play collaboratively with other children. Tuakana teina relationships are promoted.

Children are supported to become confident, capable learners. They make decisions about their play and readily access a variety of useful resources. Children have opportunities to lead and participate in uninterrupted learning. They share their learning with teachers and other children. Parents report that they appreciate their children’s ability to talk about their learning.

Teachers interact respectfully with children. They are responsive to children’s interests and use good questioning to encourage children to share their thinking. Teachers promote a positive transition to school by encouraging children to be self-managing learners. They are developing relationships and connections with local schools.

The programme has a strong focus on literacy and creative arts. Teachers are continuing to explore ways to further develop children’s research and investigative skills. The kindergarten is committed to further developing bicultural practices. Teachers plan to develop programmes that focus on sustaining the environment, which will enhance children's bicultural learning.

The head teacher provides good leadership for the teaching team. She is well supported by the AKA to continue building teachers’ and children's leadership skills. Teachers continue to seek ways to improve their practices. They are working collaboratively to build more consistent teaching practices.

Auckland Kindergarten Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s increasingly robust self review. This self review is both responsive and planned, is supported by research into current good practice, and reflects teachers’ focus on continual professional development. It often results in improvements. 

Key Next Steps

The teaching team and ERO agree that key next steps include:

  • extending children’s learning and recording the outcomes in portfolios
  • strengthening self - review practices to be more evaluative and evidence-based.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 May 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Bucklands Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over the age of 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36

Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori 4

Pākehā 36

Chinese 5

Indian 5

other 9

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children



Over 2


Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2012

Education Review March 2009

Education Review March 2006

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.