Pukekura Kindergarten - 02/08/2013

1 Evaluation of Pukekura Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Pukekura Kindergarten is one of sixteen kindergartens managed by the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Senior teachers are employed by the association to support teaching and learning.

The service is licensed for 34 children aged from two to five years. The kindergarten is situated in New Plymouth, adjacent to Pukekura Park. This exciting, natural environment is accessed weekly as part of the programme by children, parents and teachers. The teaching team consists of four qualified and registered teachers.

The philosophy that acknowledges that 'teachers are passionate, innovative and enthusiastic about maximising children’s learning' is evident in their practice.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO. Areas for review and development from the June 2010 ERO report have been considered thoughtfully and responded to effectively.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Board members undertake regular training and have developed useful processes to support governance roles and responsibilities. The senior teacher provides effective professional leadership. She visits the kindergarten regularly and works alongside the teaching team to support development of teaching practice. These association processes help to promote positive outcomes for children.

The kindergarten vision is strongly evident in teaching and learning. Teachers have clearly identified the attributes of a Pukekura Kindergarten learner, where children are supported to develop as confident, co-independent lifelong learners. ERO observed these aspects of the vision being reinforced in practice and through centre documentation.

The learning environment, strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, is well organised and aesthetically pleasing. A focus on including elements of the natural world in play and in creative opportunities underpins the programme. Children actively lead the direction of their learning through exploration and the use of a wide variety of resources.

Secure, child-teacher-family relationships encourage the development of children's identity. Assessment is responsive to their immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Learning stories show children's engagement and progress and these observations of learning are well reflected in profile books and visual displays within the kindergarten. Documentation shows evidence of teacher's analysis of observations and their increased understanding of diverse learning.

Children have fun as part of the learning process, supported by warm, nurturing adults. Teachers use an effective range of strategies to encourage the development of children's ideas about how the world works. Adults frequently engage with children in one-to-one, sustained interaction. Adults work sensitively and effectively in partnership with parents of children with special needs. Teachers recognise and respond to individual learning, including the cultural context of Māori and Pacific children.

The head teacher confidently leads teachers. Teachers demonstrate a commitment to using self review to strengthen current processes and to meet the objectives in strategic plans to support building capacity and sustainability. Self-review systems focus on maintaining a safe emotional and physical learning environment for children and adults. Regular consultation with parents encourages their contribution to decision-making processes and enhances outcomes for children.

The staff appraisal process is improvement-focused. Teachers have time for critical reflection on teaching effectiveness. Development goals focus on centre and individual teacher needs and interests. Teachers receive feedback to affirm and reinforce shifts in practice.

Key Next Steps

Teachers evaluative review capacity continues to develop. Appropriate next steps include:

  • continuing review of the philosophy to consider further ways to incorporate values and beliefs of all staff and the parent and whānau community

  • enhancing teaching strategies to provide further opportunities for Māori and Pacific children to enjoy success as Māori and Pacific.

The association should continue to review appraisal and consider formal critique of teaching practice and feedback processes to improve teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukekura 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pukekura Kindergarten will be in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

2 August 2013

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children,number aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30

Girls 30

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

2 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2010


Education Review

December 2005


Accountability Review

October 2002

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.