Riversdale Kindergarten - 13/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Riversdale Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Riversdale Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Riversdale Kindergarten is in the suburb of Taradale, Napier. The service provides early childhood education and care for up to 40 children aged over two years. The current roll is 40, including five Māori children. Children and families reflect a diverse range of cultures.

Since the December 2015 ERO evaluation, a new head teacher has been appointed and there have been changes to the teaching team. A parent committee supports the kindergarten, including with fundraising. Redevelopment to grounds reflects the kindergarten's involvement in the Enviroschools initiative.

The philosophy emphasises: 'children as active participants and lifelong learners; sensitivity to the diverse needs of the community; and valuing meaningful and restful relationships'.

Riversdale Kindergarten is one of 16 kindergartens operating under the governance and management of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day operation of the association is the role of the general manager. Two education managers provide teaching and learning support for teachers. The board employs a Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga (Professional Practice Advisor Māori) to work alongside all association personnel to continue to strengthen cultural responsiveness.

The key next steps identified in the previous ERO evaluation continue to be areas for the kindergarten to strengthen.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 kindergarten reviews in the Napier Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Teachers work collaboratively to provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment for all children and parents. Teachers and whānau recently reviewed the kindergarten philosophy and identified shared values and beliefs that are evident in practice. They continue to focus on seeking ways to invite families to share the aspirations they have for their child. Staff identify that a next step is to further encourage and offer opportunities for families to share cultural information that celebrates the diversity of the community.

Children enthusiastically engage in a range of child-initiated learning. Literacy, mathematics, creativity and aspects of science are integrated into activities in meaningful play-based ways. At times children revisit their previous activities and learning captured in their assessment portfolios. Teachers should continue to strengthen assessment for learning by refining how they notice and record emerging ideas and passions of individual learners.

The outdoor environment is thoughtfully organised, offers physical challenge and supports imaginative play. Inviting gardens extend on the sustainability and natural science learning that are a positive feature of the kindergarten.

Teachers continue to work with the association's Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga to further grow their knowledge of te ao Māori. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are promoted through the context of play and routine times.

Children's transition into the kindergarten is well managed. Teachers have a useful range of strategies to build and maintain relationships with local schools. Regular visits by new entrant teachers helps to build children’s confidence as they move on to school.

Teachers demonstrate a developing knowledge of the purpose and use of internal evaluation to improve outcomes for children. Planned evaluation results in changes to teaching and learning. Including the use of indicators of high quality practice should assist teachers to evaluate the impact of these changes on children's outcomes. Education managers should continue to grow their own knowledge and practice of internal evaluation to better support this process.

The governing board is future-focused and has developed a clear strategic direction to meet the diverse needs of its communities. Board members value diversity of viewpoints and gather community and staff voice to inform decision-making. Regular reporting by the education managers is useful in identifying how strategic teaching and learning goals are being addressed.

The board places importance on developing teachers' capabilities. Targeted and deliberate building of cultural responsiveness supports Māori children and their whānau to experience success. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Further strengthening of the appraisal process, including targeted observations, should support teachers to determine how well they are progressing and actively encourage them to improve their effectiveness.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for Riversdale Kindergarten are to continue to:

  • strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement to know the impact of teacher practices on children’s learning

  • improve the quality and consistency of assessment, planning and evaluation processes.

Education managers should continue to promote sustained improvement and innovation through strengthening:

  • evaluation, inquiry and professional guidance

  • the appraisal process.


Education managers should strengthen their understanding and use of internal evaluation to systematically evaluate their practice and the impact of theses on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Riversdale 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

13 December 2019

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

Male 22, Female 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

13 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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.