Pukerua Bay Kindergarten - 16/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Pukerua Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Pukerua Bay 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.


Pukerua Bay Kindergarten is located in a small seaside community in Porirua, near Wellington. Since the September 2012 ERO report, the service has introduced daily, six hour sessions. Parents make decisions about the days of attendance of children based their individual needs. The service is licensed for 40 children aged over two years and of the 75 children enrolled, 11 are Māori. Refurbishments to the kindergarten's entrance and decking enhance the environment for children and families. A pre-entry group, in a separate building, operates each morning for three hours and a flexible roster allows this to be led by one of the teaching team.

The kindergarten philosophy supports children to be 'curious, interested and inspired by the world around them and seeing themselves as competent and confident learners'.

Pukerua Bay Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery, including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning.

The previous ERO report for Pukerua Bay Kindergarten identified that teachers needed to further develop their understanding of evaluation to improve outcomes for children. Areas where the association could strengthen its support for teachers were also identified, and positive progress has occurred. The alignment of individual kindergartens’ annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been appropriately addressed.

All six teachers at the kindergarten are qualified and registered. Staff changes since the previous ERO report include a new head teacher and two teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Parents are welcomed and acknowledged as their child’s first teacher. Partnerships are based on acceptance and respect. Teachers encourage and provide opportunities for parents to contribute to their child’s learning.

Assessment is responsive to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Recent changes to recording children's learning have focused on making this more visible for children and parents. Easily accessible portfolio books show individual children's engagement, and at times, their progress. Group learning is effectively captured in wall displays in the kindergarten. Documentation shows evidence of teachers' developing analysis of observations and their increased understanding of children's diverse learning.

Children have fun as part of the learning process, supported by warm, nurturing adults. Teachers use a range of strategies to encourage the development of children's ideas about how the world works. Adults frequently engage in one-to-one, sustained interactions with children. They share values that encourage and promote children's developing social competencies. Teachers have a clear focus on ensuring that practices are supportive and inclusive.

The environment reflects the dual heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand in a variety of ways. The outdoor area is inviting and supports sustainable practices. Children engage with the living world in authentic and meaningful ways. They have opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori within the programme. Teachers continue, through professional learning and development, to extend their practice in giving significance to Māori learners’ culture, language, and identity. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

Children's seamless transition to kindergarten is supported by the option of attending daily pre-entry sessions. Their move to school is designed to meet their individual needs. The neighbouring school and kindergarten work closely together. Teachers and parents share information to assist children to confidently and capably transfer to new entrant classrooms.

The head teacher provides capable, improvement-focused professional leadership. The teaching team is collegial and enthusiastic. Each teacher plays an active role in the service’s development. Staff demonstrate a commitment to using internal evaluation to strengthen current processes and to meet the objectives in strategic plans to support building capacity and sustainability. Regular communication with parents encourages their contribution to decision-making to enhance outcomes for children.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal process. Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next step for Pukerua Bay Kindergarten:

  • to continue to develop and use shared understandings of internal evaluation to enhance teaching and learning.
  • The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening of responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukerua Bay 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 Pukerua Bay Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 May 2016

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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 41, Boys 34

Ethnic composition




Cook Island

Latin American


Other ethnic groups








Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

16 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

May 2008

Education Review

September 2005

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.