Rolleston First Learners - 13/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Rolleston First Learners

How well placed is Rolleston First Learners to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rolleston First Learners is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Rolleston First Learners is part of the Evolve Education Group. Evolve provides the policy and administration framework. It also supports the centre manager and staff in the daily operation of the centre, the provision of the curriculum, and teaching and learning.

The centre caters for babies to school-aged children in three separate classrooms. Each room has a spacious outdoor area. The manager and the majority of the staff are qualified early childhood teachers who have worked at the centre for a number of years.

The centre has had three owners since the 2013 ERO review. Evolve purchased the centre in February 2015.

The centre manager and teachers have made good progress in meeting the recommendations from the ERO review. The recommendations related to establishing management systems to provide good direction for ongoing improvement and to ensure high quality outcomes for all children. The Ministry of Education has provided the centre with extra support and monitoring during this time.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, confident and involved in the programmes. They have positive and respectful relationships with each other and their teachers.

Teachers are responsive and readily seek ways to engage with the children. They carefully listen to children, encourage them to share their ideas, and make good use of questions to help children solve problems.

Infants and toddlers are well supported by the close relationships families build with their teachers. The nursery is spacious and provides a wide range of experiences for these young children.

Leaders and teachers actively seek parent opinions and involvement in their children’s learning. They make good use of the information that parents share to link home and centre experiences and to keep families well informed about their children’s learning and development.

Teachers are making steady progress to increase the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programmes. The older children regularly share their mihi. Teachers have evaluated the ways bicultural perspectives are included. As a result, they are participating in professional development to strengthen this area of the curriculum.

Children with special needs are well integrated into the programme, provided with a wide range of experiences and well supported by the staff in their learning.

Children’s transitions into, and within the centre are well managed to meet the individual needs of children and their families.

Leaders have high expectations for child assessment and programme planning. They regularly provide teachers with specific feedback to help them reflect on and improve their practices. Child assessments provide good information about children’s learning and progress and often include parent comments.

The leaders and teachers have made good use of self review to develop a new philosophy in consultation with parents and children. It clearly identifies what is important for children’s learning and wellbeing in this centre.

The centre has comprehensive procedures and practices for self review. While only a few planned reviews have been completed, the process has been well used to identify what is going well, and plans for improvements.

Evolve is appropriately supporting the centre manager to refine, improve and align centre operations, policies and procedures. Leaders and teachers have clear roles and responsibilities. Teachers are encouraged to work collaboratively, use their initiative, reflect on their practices and outcomes for children’s learning and wellbeing.

The strategic plan is closely linked to the centre’s philosophy and vision. It clearly identifies the centre’s priorities, indicators for success, responsibilities and reporting timelines.

Key Next Steps

The leaders and teachers have put a number of good systems, procedures and practices in place. The leaders and ERO agree that the progress needs to be sustained and embedded particularly in:

  • te reo and tikanga Māori programmes and practices
  • extending self-review processes to include all aspects of centre operations
  • staff appraisal processes to include all staff
  • monitoring and reporting the progress against the strategic plan
  • programme planning and evaluation and the ways teachers review the effectiveness of their teaching.

The centre has identified and ERO agrees that a priority is to develop closer relationships with local primary schools to better support children and their families as they transition to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rolleston First Learners 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 Rolleston First Learners will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

13 October 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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 14 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 55%

Girls 45%

Ethnic composition





Other ethnicities






Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

13 October 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2013


Education Review

June 2011


Education Review

March 2008

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.