Poppies Preschool - 12/01/2015

1 Evaluation of Poppies Preschool

How well placed is Poppies Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Poppies Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Poppies Preschool is one of three early childhood education centres that are privately owned and operated by the same licensee. The centre is located in a home-like villa setting. Three separate indoor and outdoor areas cater for the specific needs of children under two years old, two-to-three years old, and three-to-five years old.

The centre leaders have responded well to the areas identified for development in the January 2012 ERO review. The recent strengthening of curriculum leadership supports the sharing of professional practices and processes across the service. Together with the support of an external adviser, the leaders have strengthened appraisal and assessment processes.

The centre’s philosophy is well-aligned to Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. It provides children with a balance of structured and free-choice learning experiences that help them to discover and learn. This is clearly evident within the programme.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a child-led curriculum that is flexible and responsive to their interests, strengths and capabilities. They have easy access to a wide range of stimulating and creative learning activities that promote exploration and collaborative play. Children have many opportunities to learn about the natural world and sustainable practices through being involved in gardening and the recycling of materials. Regular trips into the community enhance the learning experiences offered to children.

ERO observed positive relationships across the centre. Teachers work well together. They are actively involved with children to engage them in imaginative play and extend their thinking and oral language skills. Children and teachers have fun together.

Teachers make purposeful links with local schools to support children’s transitions. The learning programme includes a suitable focus on encouraging children’s independence, social skills and appropriate literacy and mathematics abilities.

Children under two are well supported through calm, respectful and nurturing interactions and relationships. Teachers are very responsive to the individual emotional and physical needs of infants and toddlers. Routines are flexible and well paced to allow children time to make choices, explore freely and follow their own interests. Teachers in this area have a meaningful focus on providing bicultural experiences. The centre leaders are reviewing bicultural practices to help teachers and children develop understandings to support te ao Māori in the curriculum.

Recent improvements to the assessment of children’s learning are helping teachers to increase their knowledge of the child as a learner. ERO saw some good examples of assessment for learning.

Teachers use a range of sensitive approaches to support children with special education needs and those for whom English is not their first language. Close observations of children’s wellbeing, engagement and learning by teachers contribute to teachers knowing the children well and responding to their diverse needs. A focus is maintained on practices that build inclusion and participation in all aspects of the programmes. ERO observed children being encouraged to care for one another and be supportive of other children’s needs.

Positive relationships at leadership levels and across the centre contribute to a family-like environment. Leaders value the contribution of individual teachers and use their strengths to build team practices to support positive outcomes for children. Parents’ views and opinions are valued. The service uses a range of ways to gather parent voice including the increasing use of technology.

Effective leadership promotes a culture of reflection and a sustained focus on continuous improvement. Stronger links have been developed between strategic planning, self review, appraisal and professional development. Leaders use robust self review and appraisal processes that promote collaborative practices that sustain and build on positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The service has identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps are to:

  • extend best practices in assessment for learning for all children
  • give greater prominence to bicultural perspectives in key documentation such as the philosophy, assessment, planning and self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Poppies Preschool 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 Poppies Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

12 January 2015

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


St Martins, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 52 Boys 46

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island


Other Ethnicities






Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

12 January 2015

Most recent ERO report


Education Review

January 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 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.