Plimmerton Kindergarten - 08/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Plimmerton Kindergarten

How well placed is Plimmerton 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.


Plimmerton Kindergarten is located in the seaside village of Plimmerton near Porirua City. The service offers flexible, daily education and care for children aged over two years. Most children attending are three to five years old. Since the July 2012 ERO review, the parent-led committee has worked proactively to redevelop both the outdoor and indoor environments to enhance learning opportunities for children.

Plimmerton Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning.

The previous ERO report for Plimmerton Kindergarten identified that self-review processes needed strengthening to enhance teaching and learning for children. Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergartens' annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

Five teachers are qualified and three have full registration. Two are nearing completion of provisional registration. Staff show a commitment to ongoing study and several teachers have teaching and educational experiences that enhance their early childhood qualifications.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 kindergarten reviews in He Whānau Manaaki kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children experience an inviting and stimulating programme. Teachers plan from children’s interests, passions and strengths. Adults' daily observations and regular conversations with parents help them make decisions about next steps to challenge children and enrich their experiences.

Assessment practices focus on progressing children. Portfolios include the child’s voice and families’ contributions. Increasingly, there are clear links between learning narratives. Teachers support children to sustain their interests and persevere.

Children experience a range of opportunities to explore and engage in reading, writing and number activities. Increased use of information and communication technologies supports the learning programme. Children use their knowledge confidently across the curriculum.

Teachers know each child and their personality well. Children’s developing social competence is evident in their relationships and the respectful way they interact with each other. Learners with special needs are welcomed and supported by close partnerships with parents. Teachers model the kindergarten’s philosophical values and beliefs that include caring for each other and enjoying learning.

Children are confident learners. Teachers support and encourage them to solve problems and explore through play. Staff work with parents and community members to actively build children’s skills and understanding of the local natural bush environment.

The transition-to-school process is designed to meet children's individual needs. A positive relationship has been developed with the neighbouring school. Teachers and parents share information so that children’s confidence and capability at kindergarten transfers to the new entrant classrooms.

The head teacher provides capable professional leadership and welcomes initiative. The teaching team is collaborative. Each teacher plays an active role in the kindergarten’s development.

Teachers clearly understand the purpose of, and process for, self review and follow a well-structured framework. They show a commitment to using self review to strengthen current practice and to meet the objectives in their strategic teaching and learning plan. Self review and evaluation to guide improvement and sustain best practice should be strengthened by deepening the analysis of the information gathered.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. These continue to require strengthening. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Children at Plimmerton kindergarten actively participate in a range of opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers are willing to explore further ways of enhancing culturally-responsive practices for Māori learners. This development should include establishing relationships with mana whenua and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Plimmerton Kindergarten, to continue to:

  • strengthen self review and teacher inquiry by deepening the analysis of evidence gathered
  • promote ways for Māori to achieve success as Māori.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. This should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Plimmerton 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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 Plimmerton Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

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

45 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 42, Girls 33

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

March 2015

Date of this report

8 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2012


Education Review

April 2008


Education Review

July 2005

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.