Riversdale Kindergarten - 17/12/2015

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

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


Riversdale Kindergarten, in Napier, provides early education and care for up to 40 children aged over two. The kindergarten operates on an all day licence from 8.30 am until 2.30 pm. The current roll of 44 children includes a number from diverse cultures.

The kindergarten is part of the Napier Kindergarten Association, which oversees the operations of 16 kindergartens including two based in Wairoa. A board of trustees oversees governance for the association with support for the general manager. The two education managers have responsibility for building teacher capability. A recently appointed Pou Whakarewa Matauranga supports teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori.

After a period of staffing instability, the current relieving head teacher is providing professional leadership to the team. Areas of strength identified in the October 2012 ERO report continue to be evident.

An attractive and well-maintained environment provides opportunities for children to engage in a good range of physical activities and to become environmentally aware.

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

The Review Findings

Children learn in an environment where they are valued and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. A sense of belonging is promoted through strong, respectful relationships with families and whānau.

Children lead their own learning. They engage in cooperative play for sustained periods of time. Access to a good range of resources and activities promotes their curiosity and discovery. There
is an increased focus on integrating natural and open-ended resources. This is supporting the development of early literacy and mathematics understanding. Routines are responsive to children’s needs and promote their independence and social skills.

Profiles are an attractive record of children’s learning and involvement in a wide range of activities. They reflect the culture, language and identify of children and their families.

Recent development of assessment and planning practices has improved teachers’ focus on children’s learning. There is now a shared understanding of the purpose of, and clear expectations for learning. The more visible approach has increased parent and whānau contributions to the programme, and involvement in their children’s learning. Teachers have identified the need to continue to strengthen the process to show how they are identifying and responding to individual children's learning and adding depth and complexity through their teaching response.

Te ao Māori is reflected in the environment and routines. Teachers are growing in confidence with their use of te reo Māori. They have acknowledged the need to continue to strengthen bicultural practices.

Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured through well-planned and responsive transitions into kindergarten and to school.

Teachers work in partnership with parents of children requiring additional support. They seek advice and guidance from outside agencies.

The relieving head teacher has worked effectively to foster a culture that values the contributions that teachers make to improve and promote positive outcomes for children.

Teachers are well supported to participate in relevant professional learning and development. Recent refinements to the appraisal process should assist in building their practice. These are at the early stages of implementation.

Teachers have strengthened their knowledge and understanding of self review and how evaluation is used to improve teaching and learning. Good use is made of evidence and research to support the process. This is an area that requires further development.

The association empowers the kindergarten to use the team strengths to respond to children and the parent community. Education managers should continue to lead the implementation of systems and processes to effectively build teacher capability. This includes self review, assessment, planning, internal evaluation, appraisal and leadership development.

Key Next Steps

The kindergarten teachers and education managers should continue to:

  • embed and extend understanding and use of self review
  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation as part of the planned review of the curriculum
  • strengthen appraisal goal setting, evidence, observations, feedback and next steps to better evaluate the impact on children’s outcomes. 

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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Riversdale Kindergarten will be in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 December 2015 

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

Boys 24, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

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

October 2015

Date of this report

17 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

March 2006

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.