Poppies Preschool Gardiners Road - 20/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Poppies Preschool Gardiners Road

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Poppies Gardiners Road is located in a semi-rural setting near Christchurch. It provides all day education and care for babies, infants, toddlers and preschoolers in three separate areas. It is licensed for 69 children, including 16 up to the age of two years. At the time of this review 70 children were enrolled, including nine who identify as Māori.

The centre is one of four that operate under the umbrella of Peppertree Preschool Ltd that provides governance structures, systems and processes. A core curriculum leader provides professional guidance to leaders and teachers across all centres. A supervisor oversees the centre's day to day management. Most teachers are registered.

The philosophy prioritises building strong relationships with whānau and tamariki, and being culturally responsive. It emphasises developing children’s curiosity and wonder as they care for the natural environment. Nurturing children’s wellbeing, emotional competence and respect for self and others are key focus areas.

The June 2017 ERO report identified a number of areas requiring improvement, including teacher development, appraisal, assessment practices, internal evaluation, bicultural and multicultural practice and developing parent partnerships. The owner and teachers have made progress towards meeting these key next steps.

The service is a member of the Totaranui Kāhui Ako. This review was part of two early childhood centre reviews in Peppertree Preschool services.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported and encouraged to make choices and decisions about their learning. They explore their environment and well planned activities at their own pace. Play is highly valued as the best way to learn.

Teachers know each child well and respond thoughtfully and appropriately to their emerging preferences and interests. Teachers strongly promote independence and self-management skills.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm, safe setting that strongly supports their wellbeing, engagement and learning. Teachers interpret and respond sensitively to their subtle cues. Consistent practices highly reflect a shared, well-considered pedagogy of care.

Thoughtfully planned, easily accessible indoor and outdoor environments invite children to explore nature, and imaginatively create and experience challenge. The use of natural materials, gardens and plantings provide a meaningful context for tamariki to learn about and care for the land/kaitiakitanga.

There is a strong focus on relationships at all levels within the service. Teachers effectively communicate with parents in a range of ways. The service is expanding the use of an online assessment tool to share information, learning and centre happenings with whānau. While ERO saw variability in the quality of learning stories, they have been improving over time.

The goals of Te Whāriki: the Early Childhood Curriculum, are highly evident within assessment documentation and are regularly revisited and evaluated. The teaching team should be supported to continue to develop their approach to assessment, planning and evaluation. This should include:

  • a greater focus on learning outcomes for children

  • showing how parent aspirations are used to guide planning processes to support the development of learning partnerships

  • ensuring that children’s cultures are more consistently evident.

Bicultural practices are evident within the learning environment. Teachers incorporate kupu Māori in their interactions. Children are familiar with karakia and waiata. The current bicultural internal evaluation being undertaken by staff should help identify how to better incorporate children’s culture, language and identity in centre practices and documentation. It is timely for staff to find out more about the kaupapa of the area and weave local stories into the curriculum.

Transitions through the centre and on to school are well considered and are designed to meet the needs of individual children and their whānau.

Collaborative internal evaluations support team discussion, reflection and improvements in a range of areas. To strengthen the process, the team should clarify the evaluative focus and use measurable success indicators to evaluate the impact of their practices on children's outcomes.

Centre operations are underpinned by a framework of useful policies and procedures that guide practice. The updated appraisal process is clearly aligned to the standards of the teaching profession. Teachers inquire into and receive useful feedback about their practice. The appraisal policy needs refreshing to reflect current legislation and centre practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the service provider and leaders agree the next steps for management include:

  • further strengthening professional leadership

  • promoting consistent, high-quality teaching practice across the centres

  • increasing involvement of Māori and Pacific families in decision making and their children’s learning

  • comprehensive policy review.

The leaders and ERO agree that next steps for Poppies Preschool Gardiners Road include:

  • developing a localised bicultural curriculum

  • building professional leadership and staff capacity in internal evaluation

  • strengthening assessment and planning to clearly reflect children's language, culture and identity, and to show intentional teaching strategies and their impact.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Poppies Preschool Gardiners Road 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 related to earthquake hazards. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • ensuring regular earthquake checks, and that heavy furniture is secured. Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6

Since the onsite phase of the review, the service has taken action to ensure any possible earthquake hazards have been addressed and appropriately secured. Photographic evidence has been provided to ERO.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

20 May 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

69 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 35, Boys 35

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2020

Date of this report

20 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2017

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.