Snells Beach Kindergarten - 29/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Snells Beach Kindergarten

How well placed is Snells Beach 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.


Snells Beach Kindergarten provides high quality education and care for children in the coastal settlement of Snells Beach, near Warkworth. The kindergarten offers a Kindergarten Day Model of six hour days provides for up to 30 children, up to the age of five years of age.

The kindergarten has developed its own philosophy with core values around fostering a bicultural and multicultural environment. Teachers promote children’s sense of belonging and respectful relationships. The kindergarten team comprises of a head teacher, two other registered teachers, a part-time teaching assistant, a teacher aide and an administrator.

The kindergarten is well established and has a history of positive ERO reporting. ERO’s 2012 report noted the good quality of teaching and learning, curriculum and self review. These features have continued.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides strategic leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

After extensive review, consultation and development, the AKA has recently launched a new 10-year strategic direction. Its four strategic pillars or objectives relate to educational excellence, core organisational processes, community engagement and a future focus. These objectives are intended to guide the Association and its kindergartens in their ongoing development. The Association’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergarten operations, curriculum and development. Professional development is planned to support kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being developed and will be implemented to monitor quality in kindergartens and contribute to self review and ongoing improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of ten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. Children, family members and staff show a strong sense of connectedness. Tuakana teina relationships are well promoted. Children are well supported to become confident and capable learners. They are encouraged to follow their interests and lead their learning. Children engage in sustained play, and they develop problem solving and thinking skills.

The environment provokes children’s wondering and creativity. A wide range of natural resources and objects reflect the cultural backgrounds of children and their families. Teachers’ inclusive practices ensure children from different cultures and those with special learning needs are valued and well supported.

Children’s early literacy and mathematic skills are developed in the meaningful context of play. Science and the Arts are also well integrated in the learning programme. Children's assessment portfolios provide very good records of each child’s learning in the kindergarten.

Teachers interact respectfully with children. Independence is encouraged and children are encouraged to develop practical life skills that promote self-management. Teachers support children’s positive transition to school.

The kindergarten is committed to developing bicultural practices. Tikanga and te reo Māori is evident in the daily programme and environment. Children sing waiata, say karakia at kai times and introduce themselves in Māori at sharing times. Teachers and children are learning about local iwi history and this knowledge is incorporated meaningfully into the programme.

Teachers are highly reflective practitioners who continue to seek ways of improving their practices. The head teacher is very capable and is supported by a cohesive teaching team. Teachers work collaboratively, using their good curriculum knowledge to extend children’s learning. They are encouraged and supported to take on leadership roles. Their individual strengths are valued and contribute to the high quality programme of education and care. Staff, families and children are involved in the kindergarten’s comprehensive and systematic self review processes.

AKA systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s increasingly robust self review. This self review is both responsive and planned, is supported by research into best practice, and reflects teachers’ focus on continual professional development. It often results in improvements.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team and ERO agree that key next steps include:

  • making self review more evaluative by considering the impact of teachers’ practices on children’s learning outcomes
  • strengthening partnerships with family/whānau to support children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Snells Beach 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 Snells Beach Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 May 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


Snells Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21

Boys 20

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 2015

Date of this report

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012


Education Review

February 2009


Education Review

January 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.