Riversdale Kindergarten - 26/09/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The service is developing its capacity to undertake self review to support ongoing improvements.


Riversdale Kindergarten caters for 42 children aged between three and five years. Six children identify as Māori. Since the 2009 ERO review teachers have introduced a longer, mixed-age session four days a week and a shorter Wednesday session.

The kindergarten philosophy focuses on creating a safe learning environment where natural curiosity and creativity are encouraged. Positive relationships between teachers, parents and children are a priority. Outdoor redevelopment includes an attractive sandpit, gardens and climbing area. These improvements support children to engage with nature and to participate in more physically challenging play activities. The Enviro Schools programme is part of the teaching programme. Teachers forge links with the local community and schools, including playgroups and adult volunteers.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in fifteen early childhood education services within the Napier Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy high quality learning resources and equipment, thoughtfully arranged to invite their use. Teachers warmly welcome children and parents into the kindergarten. Routines and expectations for self-management encourage easy morning transitions to the service. Children with special needs are well supported through access to external agencies. Useful information sharing and relationships with local schools assist children in their transition to school.

Teachers provide consistent positive guidance to support each child’s emotional and social competence. Successful strategies include photographs of children modelling appropriate behaviours. A print-rich environment promotes and stimulates early literacy interests. Children read books and revisit their enjoyment of kindergarten trips, captured in profiles.

A feature of the programme is a focus on early mathematics. Teaching practices concentrate on everyday numeracy and other resources that underpin developing concepts, including puzzles. Many children engage in sustained role play and creative activities. A teacher provides good role modelling of te reo Māori in her interactions with children. A trip to a local marae significantly increased the bicultural aspect of the programme and used the expertise of whānau. Teachers are committed to increasing their cultural responsiveness. They identify that strengthening relationships with whānau is an area they need to work on.

Children take pleasure in revisiting activities and events recorded in profile books. These are attractive records of their time at the kindergarten. There are opportunities for children to be involved in creating profile stories. Teachers have recently reviewed their practices to include a parent aspiration sheet. This increases the learning partnership with families.

It is timely for teachers to review the purpose of children’s profiles and the extent to which they show individual learning over time.

Teachers engage in purposeful and regular individual and team reflection. They are well supported by the Napier Kindergarten Association to participate in appropriate training and access highly relevant external expertise. Teachers receive positive affirmation of their strengths and are encouraged to improve their teaching practices, through the appraisal process.

Teachers’ understanding and use of self review are at very early stages of development. Teachers should improve their use of regular and planned reviews to guide improvements.

ERO identifies that teachers should continue to review how well some practices, resources and routines support the kindergarten philosophy.

Teachers should continue to improve the links between self review and the staff appraisal processes to more clearly show the positive impacts on learning outcomes for children.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

26 September 2012

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Taradale, Napier

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 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 21, Female 21

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

26 September 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review Education Review Accountability Review

May 2009 March 2006 November 2001