Poppies Preschool St Martins - 21/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Poppies Preschool St Martins

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Poppies Preschool St Martins, located in Christchurch, is licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 50 children, including 16 under two years of age. At the time of this review there were 80 children enrolled, including eight who identify as Māori.

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

The philosophy aims 'to provide a holistic approach in a safe, caring and stimulating environment that empowers tamariki to be active, investigative learners.'

The June 2017 ERO report identified a number of areas requiring improvement. These included teacher development, appraisal, assessment practices, bicultural curriculum, parent partnerships and the environment for children under two years. The owner and teachers have made progress towards meeting these next key steps.

The preschool is a member of the Te Mana Raupo Kāhui Ako|Community of Learners. This review was part of two early childhood centre reviews of the Peppertree Preschool services.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported and encouraged to make choices and decisions about their learning. Teachers strongly promote children's independence and self-management skills. Children explore their environment and the 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.

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 reflect a shared, well-considered approach to 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.

Teachers' planning is highly responsive to children's interests and stages of development. Te Whāriki: the Early Childhood Curriculum is used well to identify learning goals and dispositions for individuals and groups. Leaders have identified variability in the quality of learning stories and are working effectively with teachers to promote consistent practice. This should include:

  • describing how intentional teaching has improved children's learning outcomes

  • showing how parents' aspirations are used to guide and plan for each child's learning

  • acknowledgement and celebration of children's cultures.

The bicultural curriculum is increasingly evident in the learning environment. Te reo Māori is spoken by teachers and well understood by children. Making more intentional links to te ao Māori, local history and stories in planning and learning programmes should further strengthen the sense of identity of tamariki Māori and partnerships with whānau.

Teachers demonstrate highly inclusive practices. Children with additional learning needs are identified, planned for and well supported by the programme. Leaders and teachers work alongside family and whānau to access appropriate support from external agencies, when required. The significant focus on transitions responds to children's individual needs as they move into, through the service and onto school.

Teachers communicate effectively 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.

The supervisor, with support from the management team, has a well-considered approach to leadership and is promoting increased consistency of centre operations. Distributed leadership is encouraged. Teachers are collaborative and work well together. Leaders and teachers are improvement focused and use internal evaluation to support needed developments.

Developing a centre-wide shared understanding of evidence-based internal evaluation that includes measurable success indicators should better enable leaders and teachers to review the effectiveness of their own practice, and support positive learning outcomes for children.

Centre operations are underpinned by a framework of relevant policies and procedures. Managers and centre leaders have a clear focus on improvement. 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 requires updating to reflect current legislation and centre practice.

Key Next Steps

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

  • continuing to strengthen professional leadership

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

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

  • undertaking a comprehensive review to ensure that all policies are updated and reflect current centre practice.

The leaders and ERO agree that the next steps for Poppies Preschool St Martins 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 St Martins 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

21 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

50 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 41, Girls 39

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

21 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2017

Education Review

January 2015

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

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.