Saint Kentigern Preschool - 30/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Saint Kentigern Preschool

How well placed is Saint Kentigern Preschool 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.


Saint Kentigern Preschool in Remuera is owned and operated by Saint Kentigern Trust, the umbrella organisation for Saint Kentigern College, Boys' and Girls' schools. The Preschool was established to provide a seamless transition into these schools. It is licenced for 50 children over two years of age.

An emphasis on upholding the 'Saint Kentigern Way' sits at the heart of the Preschool. Core values of love, integrity, respect, excellence and service guide the philosophy. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring that the programme supports children's developing literacy and numeracy as part of preparation for school.

Teachers have responded well to the next steps identified in ERO's 2013 report. They have explored and embedded responsive approaches to children's interests and built teachers' confidence to use te reo Māori.

The Review Findings

There is a strong sense of mutual respect and confidence between the Saint Kentigern Trust and the Preschool. The Trust is very well informed about systems and processes that guide operations at the service. They support and value the leadership and direction that informs development in the Preschool.

Children, parents and whānau are warmly welcomed. Relationships between families and teachers are responsive and reciprocal. Parents value the care, nurturing and inclusive practices shown by teachers. They also appreciate the way teachers build children's confidence to participate in all aspects of the programme and the high teacher-to-child ratio.

Children are settled, focused, highly engaged and positive in their learning. They play alongside their peers with sustained engagement and on their own for significant periods of time. Children's relationships with others are respectful and caring. They have many opportunities to be creative and develop their thinking and reasoning skills. They also benefit from swimming and yoga instruction and French and Māori language learning opportunities.

The learning environment challenges and extends children's play. Children make choices and decisions from a wide range of resources. Developing children's appreciation of literacy, numeracy, science and the arts is very well supported. The environment celebrates children's work and their contributions to the learning programme.

Bicultural practice is meaningfully integrated and highly evident in the environment. Teachers acknowledge the place of Māori in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Children initiate the use of te reo Māori with their peers and teachers. Teachers continue to respond to and affirm other cultures within the centre.

Partnerships within the Saint Kentigern family/organisation promote learning for children and secure confident transitions to school. This creates a seamless learning pathway for children as they move on to school. Children's sense of wellbeing and belonging is nurtured through the well planned and effective transition process.

Teachers are committed to ongoing individual and whole-centre professional learning. This contributes to teacher reflection and the team's teaching and learning approaches. Teachers are highly collaborative and their strengths and interests contribute to the learning programme. Work is presently underway embedding a robust teacher appraisal system.

Teachers regularly reflect on their role as facilitators who promote children's independent learning. Changes to programme planning and assessment processes have increased the focus on children's individual learning. Narrative assessment is the predominate approach to assessing and reporting on children's learning in portfolios. Teachers are embedding these significant changes in a considered way.

The director's collaborative and inclusive leadership supports teachers to work as a team and empowers them to use and grow their strengths. This contributes to teachers being open to new ideas and approaches and reflective about their practice. Self-review within The Preschool is comprehensive, cyclical and consultative and is impacting positively on children's opportunities to learn.

The Preschool is thoughtfully governed and managed. The Trust board's strategic framework is skilfully adapted by the Director and staff to be appropriate to the early childhood context.

Key Next Steps

The Preschool director and Trust board agree that key next steps for the preschool are to:

  • continue strengthening programme planning and approaches to narrative assessment

  • further embed the teacher appraisal system in alignment with the requirements of the Education Council of New Zealand.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Saint Kentigern Preschool 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 Saint Kentigern Preschool will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 June 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


Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32 Girls 24

Ethnic composition













Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

30 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

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.