Pirimai Kindergarten - 26/09/2019

1 Evaluation of Pirimai Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Pirimai Kindergarten in Napier provides early childhood education and care for up to 44 children aged over two. Morning sessions cater for two-year-olds and older children attend for six hours. The current roll is 46, including 14 Māori children. Since ERO's 2015 evaluation, there have been changes to the teaching team and to the head teacher position.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises 'respectful, nurturing relationships where children learn best through play, in an inclusive and beautiful environment that is rich in literacy and numeracy artefacts'. The kindergarten is a member of the enviroschools programme.

Pirimai Kindergarten is one of 16 kindergartens operating under the governance and management of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day operation of the association is the role of the general manager. Two education managers provide teaching and learning support for teachers. The board employs a Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga (Professional Practice Advisor Māori) to work alongside all association personnel to continue to strengthen cultural responsiveness.

Many areas identified as strengths in the December 2015 ERO report continue. The key next step identified in the previous ERO report, use of internal evaluation, continues to be an area for the kindergarten to strengthen.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 reviews in the Napier Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the child-led, play-based curriculum that encourages them to make choices and follow their interests. Thoughtfully organised outdoor spaces allow them to explore, engage with nature and play independently.

Flexible routines allow children to self-manage and make decisions about their participation in learning activities. Many children sustain their involvement in play for extended periods. There are good levels of collaborative play and tuakana teina relationships. A sense of belonging is evident for children and their families.

Teachers use a good range of strategies for promoting children's social skills. Children's wellbeing is fostered. There are many examples of the values and beliefs of the kindergarten philosophy evident in children's experiences in the programme.

Children with additional needs are well supported. Teachers work with external agencies and parents to progress children's learning goals.

Transition in to the kindergarten is managed respectfully and with care. These transitions are flexible and responsive to meet individual needs. Relationships with local schools are being re-established to support the move to school for families.

Teachers continue to work with the association's Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga to further grow their knowledge of te ao Māori. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are promoted through routine times and as part of the kindergarten's involvement in the Enviroschools programme.

Children's portfolio books are a useful and meaningful record of their involvement in individual or group experiences at kindergarten and in the community. ERO, the Head Teacher and Education Manager agree that improving aspects of assessment and planning processes is a next step. This includes:

  • identifying the deliberate strategies teachers use to extend individual's learning and how well these have worked to progress learning

  • making visible children's language, culture and identity.

The head teacher encourages staff to share their strengths and to lead aspects of the programme. Areas of practice that require improvement are given appropriate priority.

Strengthening the teaching team's understanding and use of evaluation and how well it contributes to high quality practice and outcomes for children is a next step. Education managers should continue to grow their own knowledge and practice of internal evaluation to better support this process.

The governing board is future-focused and has developed a clear strategic direction to meet the diverse needs of its communities. Board members value diversity of viewpoints and gather community and employee voice to inform decision-making. Regular reporting by the education managers is useful in identifying how strategic teaching and learning goals are being addressed.

The board places importance on developing teachers' capabilities. Targeted and deliberate building of cultural responsiveness supports Māori children and their whānau to experience success. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teaching practice that promotes positive learning outcomes for children. Further strengthening of the appraisal process, including targeted observations, should assist teachers to determine how well they are progressing and actively encourage them to improve their effectiveness.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for Pirimai Kindergarten are to:

  • strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement to know the impact of teacher practices on children’s learning

  • improve the quality and consistency of assessment, planning and evaluation processes.

Education managers should continue to promote sustained improvement and innovation through strengthening:

  • evaluation, inquiry and professional guidance

  • the appraisal process.


Education managers should strengthen their understanding and use of internal evaluation to systematically evaluate their practices and the impact of these on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pirimai 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.

Actions for Compliance

ERO identified an area of non-compliance relating to health and safety practices. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • excursion documentation to ensure that parents are informed of and provide signed consent to the regulated ratio for any excursion undertaken.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17]

To improve compliance practice:

  • Since the onsite phase of ERO's evaluation, the kindergarten and education manager have revised and strengthened procedures in relation to the supervision of children’s eating.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

26 September 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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 24, Male 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


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

August 2018

Date of this report

26 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

June 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.