Pohutukawa Kindergarten - 23/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Pohutukawa Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Pohutukawa Kindergarten is a family owned and operated service providing early childhood education and care for children over two years of age. It operates in an adapted house in Ellerslie, Auckland. Generally older children attend for three days a week and younger children two days.

The philosophy is guided by primary caregiver principles and a commitment to supporting each child and their family/whānau to grow to their full potential.

The long-established leadership team are supported by four qualified early childhood teachers.

Progress towards the next steps identified in the October 2015 ERO report is evident, including strategic planning, extending the thinking of older children and enhancing teachers’ understanding of te ao Māori.

The Review Findings

A well organised and resourced environment provides good support for children's learning and development. The attractive environment promotes a sense of belonging through carefully chosen resources and displays. Children can freely access a range of resources to support their interests, both indoors and outside. The well-considered outdoor environment provides opportunities for challenge and physical learning.

Children are settled and engaged in their play. Sustained independent and cooperative play are evident. Independence is well fostered through routines and rituals. Aspects of literacy and numeracy are evident in the learning environment and in the activities provided, especially for older children.

Children are well supported to become confident communicators. They interact positively with teachers and their peers. Teachers use effective strategies to support their growing communication skills and to enable them to relate in a positive manner. Children with diverse learning needs, including those learning English as a second language, are identified and appropriate support is provided. These learners are well supported to fully participate in the programme.

Younger children experience an age-appropriate programme. They are settled, highly engaged and confident to approach and engage in learning conversations with adults. Modified programmes, routines and mat times suitably reflect these children's ages and patterns of development.

Children’s transitions into and out of the service are carefully considered and undertaken in collaboration with parents. There is a strong focus on maintaining individuals' wellbeing and developing relationships. As older children approach primary school age teachers plan and implement learning experiences to support their readiness for their new learning environment.

Teachers have begun to integrate aspects of children's culture and language into the programme. All cultures are recognised. Bi-cultural experiences are becoming more authentic. The team has identified that cultural responsiveness is an area for ongoing development. ERO's evaluation supports this.

A review of assessment and planning practices has resulted in improved practice. Actions that promote new learning, and capture current, intentional learning, are evident. Most recent stories capture parents' aspirations for learning. Magic 'wow' moments share the child's response to interesting learning opportunities provided. Stories are collated to capture the richness of children's learning across a period of time.

Useful planning and provision of activities to extend children's learning are highly evident. A strengthened planning process provides an appropriate framework to deliver and enrich the programme. It recognises the learning of individual children and identifies further possibilities. Teachers analyse data on children's learning pathways and plan to continue and strengthen these.

Teachers participate in a range of professional learning and undergo regular appraisal. However, the appraisal process requires strengthening to provide teachers with more regular feedback about their development and performance.

Leaders are developing an understanding of internal evaluation. Reflection results in positive improvement and change. Their next step is to continue to deepen their understanding of the internal evaluation process to better understand the impact of actions and improvements on children's learning.

Leaders are knowledgeable and demonstrate a strong commitment to children's learning and wellbeing. A collaborative and cooperative approach to leadership is evident and draws on the strengths of individual team members. A useful business plan has been developed. More specifically identifying the steps to achieve the centre's overall goal should better support progress to achieve this.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps are for leaders and teachers to continue to:

  • develop a deeper understanding of the internal evaluation process to improve outcomes for children
  • further strengthen te reo Māori and tikanga Māori practices and continue to integrate children's culture, language and identities into the programme to enhance learner identity
  • strengthen appraisal and attestation processes to better support teacher development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pohutukawa 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

23 June 2020

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

34 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Females 27, Males 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

23 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

June 2012

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.