Portobelo Avonhead - 01/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Portobelo Avonhead Preschool is well placed to promote children’s wellbeing and learning.


Portobelo Avonhead is one of three centres privately owned by Portobelo Preschools Limited. The licensee is also the owner. This preschool caters for children between two and five years old. The licensee has recently purchased an adjoining property and has plans to develop a nursery and extend the outdoor learning area.

Since the May 2009 ERO review there has been a change of centre leadership and some staff. The outdoor play area has been changed so that children can better use the available spaces.

The Review Findings

Children actively participate in meaningful learning. Teachers carefully listen to the children, follow their interests and naturally include children in the programme. Children have many opportunities to choose the direction of their play. Teachers and children relate very well to each other. ERO observed children playing well together for extended periods of time.

Children’s numeracy and language development is effectively integrated into all aspects of the programme.

Teachers make good use of their knowledge of the children and feedback from their parents. Children’s profile books show how teachers use this information effectively to build on children’s interests, skills and plan suitable programmes.

Teachers work well together and use their individual strengths to extend children’s interests and learning. The Portobelo philosophy is well integrated in the way children learn in the programme. Teachers’ appraisal goals incorporate individual teacher’s interests and next steps for professional development.

The licensee and senior teacher have high expectations and promote leadership. The senior teacher, who is also acting supervisor, provides useful direction that helps teachers to continue to improve their knowledge and understanding of children’s learning. They have developed a clear long term plan for the preschool’s future development. This is closely linked to the Portobelo philosophy and includes parents’ views and aspirations. The centre’s polices have recently been reviewed. These policies effectively support the daily and long-term running of the preschool.

Under the strong and committed leadership of the senior teacher, self review is used very effectively to identify what is going well and where further improvements can be made to improve learning for children. She has identified that, to further improve outcomes for children, teachers will review:

  • ways to extend planning and assessment for groups of children
  • how well bicultural practices are meeting the needs of Māori children and whānau.

Teachers provide a welcoming environment and have worked with parents from other cultures to support their families to understand the programme. It is timely to extend the ways that children’s home cultures are valued in the centre.

Teachers guide children to use resources creatively in their play. As part of the preschool’s redevelopment of the environment, it is timely to review the equipment and resources that are readily available for children.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Portobelo Avonhead 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children from 2 years old

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 35

Boys 27

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Other Ethnicities






Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

1 February 2013

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

May 2009

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.