Queen Margaret College Pre-school - 26/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Queen Margaret College Pre-school

How well placed is Queen Margaret College Pre-school 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.


Queen Margaret College Pre-school provides education and care for up to 40 children aged from three to five years. The current roll of 30 includes five boys. The two attendance options available for families are part day or full day.

The preschool operates under the management and administration of Queen Margaret College (QMC). The head teacher is a member of the QMC executive team. She regularly reports to the board on preschool matters.

Since the August 2014 ERO report, the preschool has moved to a new purpose-built building and has become coeducational. A supplementary International Baccalaureate/Primary Years Programme (IB/PYP) programme has been introduced. A new principal for the college was appointed in August 2017. All teachers are qualified and registered.

The centre’s philosophy emphasises the importance of supporting children’s holistic learning and development through implementation of a high quality, play-based inquiry programme within the framework of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and the IB/PYP programme.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy the high quality learning environment. The design enables space to be well used, with good lines of sight and a flexible break out room. Materials are well organised. Children access many resources to investigate their interests and ideas. In the outdoor area they actively explore a variety of play spaces.

Teachers know children well. They work alongside them engaging in their play, sustaining conversations and extending their learning. Warm, purposeful, affirming interactions support social development. Positive guidance is evident and cooperation well modelled. Children work and play together for sustained periods of time. The child-led, play-based inquiry learning programme is delivered using the Te Whāriki framework, supplemented with IB/PYP curriculum.

A focus on literacy and numeracy is strongly evident. Language development is a priority for the preschool. For many children English is a second language. Their first language is encouraged and often supported by the Mandarin, French, Spanish, German and Philippine speaking teachers or specialist QMC language teachers.

Children’s physical and emotional needs are recognised and responded to in timely and caring ways. Well understood routines, used effectively by teachers, foster children's social and self-management skills. Considerate behaviour from all is expected.

Teachers’ thoughtful planning for the programme is informed by what they know about children's interests and strengths. Regular planning, assessment and evaluation builds a picture of what children know and can do.

Children enjoy revisiting their learning in their easily accessible profile books. These are available on-line, facilitating increased parent responses. Teachers should continue to develop assessment practices that promote connections to children’s cultures, languages and identities. There is also a need to continue to further encourage parent contributions and better use of their aspirations for their children's learning.

Recent work on exploring and promoting different cultures has raised awareness of the community's ethnic diversity.

The bi-cultural curriculum is developing. Leaders have identified that further strengthening of teacher knowledge and use of te reo Māori is required.

The preschool has a systematic approach to reviewing the impact of its practice. Key aspects of operation and programme elements have been reviewed. The outcomes are used to inform change. The next step is for teachers to adopt a more evaluative approach to decision making through gauging effectiveness of practice on outcomes for children.

Teachers are well supported in their ongoing professional development. They are improvement focused and regularly reflect on their practice.

Most girls transition from the preschool to the adjacent new-entrant classroom. The move is seamless. The close relationship between the college and the preschool provides a sense of familiarity. The needs of children transitioning to other schools are also catered for. The head teacher plans to develop stronger liaisons with new entrant teachers of these children to strengthen the approach.

Key Next Steps

The preschool and ERO agree that the ongoing priorities are to:

  • continue to develop a bi-cultural perspective in the curriculum

  • strengthen the use of internal evaluation

  • strengthen the approach to supporting all children’s transitions to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Queen Margaret College Pre-school 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 Queen Margaret College Pre-school will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

26 January 2018

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

40 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25, Boys 5

Ethnic composition

Other Asian
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

26 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

May 2010

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 whānaungatanga – 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.