Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Taradale - 17/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Taradale

How well placed is Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Taradale 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.


The Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Taradale is one of three kindergartens in Hawke's Bay affiliated to Taikura Rudolf Steiner School, Hastings. The Rudolf Steiner philosophy underpins the programme and learning environment.

The kindergarten caters for 30 children from the age of three years. Children going on to the Taikura Rudolf Steiner School transition in their seventh year.

The Rudolf Steiner School Hastings Trust provides governance support through strategic planning.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

The Rudolf Steiner philosophy is strongly reflected in the kindergarten programme and highly evident in practice. Daily and seasonal rhythms foster children's sense of belonging and security. Respectful teaching and learning practices positively promote quality learning outcomes for children. There is a calm, nurturing atmosphere in a home-like setting where children, parents and families feel welcome and valued.

Teachers know children well. They skilfully develop children's confidence to engage in independent and group play. There is a focus on building children's oral language. Teachers support children to solve problems, take risks and to make decisions. Positive guidance is used effectively to promote social competence and independence.

Teachers plan a programme that is consistent with the Steiner philosophy, The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, to support children's strengths, needs and interests. The seasons, daily routine and celebration of festivals enhance the curriculum.

In response to a recent review, the kindergarten has made significant changes to the food provided for children, to better promote healthy eating. Regular harvesting and use of the fruit grown on site supports this.

Parents are valued as partners in their child's learning. Many have long-standing relationships with the kindergarten and teachers. Sharing information and involving parents in events are priorities. Regular reflection and evaluation contribute to the assessment and teaching practices used in the kindergarten.

Children's sense of belonging is nurtured during transition into and within the kindergarten, and when moving on to primary school. Transitions are well supported by partnerships between families, teachers and the school.

The kindergarten is inclusive of all families. Tikanga Māori is woven throughout the environment and daily rhythms. Whānau expertise is used to support the bicultural curriculum. Continuing to build teachers' knowledge and understanding of Māori language, culture and identity is a next step. Using Ministry of Education publications, Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners and the Pacific Education Plan should support this development.

Teachers are well supported by the kindergarten manager. The team works collaboratively with the other two kindergartens affiliated to the Taikura Rudolf Steiner School, and regularly reflects on practice to improve outcomes for children.

Self review has been used to guide and inform ongoing improvement of practice. It is timely for teachers to develop a shared understanding of evaluative inquiry to better support consistency of teaching practice across the kindergarten.

A useful appraisal process is in place to support teachers' development. They are encouraged to undertake research and to set goals. Professional learning opportunities contribute to collaborative team work and understanding of effective teaching and curriculum. Links to the practising teacher criteria and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should further support staff to grow their professional practices.

The kindergarten manager's knowledgeable, professional leadership supports the team well and assists in establishing a collegial staff culture that promotes ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agree that the key next steps for teachers are to:

  • develop a shared understanding of evaluative inquiry
  • strengthen te ao Māori in the curriculum
  • continue to improve the appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Taradale 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 Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Taradale will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 May 2016

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

30 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16, Boys 10

Ethnic composition





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

March 2016

Date of this report

17 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.