South End Kindergarten - 21/12/2016

1 Evaluation of South End Kindergarten

How well placed is South End Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With targeted association support, South End Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


South End Kindergarten is situated in Carterton, South Wairarapa. It is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. This is the first review for this kindergarten since the merger.

The kindergarten operates for six hours daily and caters for up to thirty children. There are eight Māori learners currently on the roll. Most teachers are new to the kindergarten since the July 2013 ERO review. There have also been several changes to the head teacher position during this time.

The kindergarten’s teaching philosophy is underpinned by the principles of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. It emphasises strong relationships, and a child centred programme that draws on children’s strengths, encouraging them to be confident and competent learners.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the Wellington association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Its introduction within the exRimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015, with kindergartens adapting it to respond to their community. South End teachers are at the early stages of using this document to guide practice.

The previous ERO report for South End Kindergarten identified that building understanding of strategic review, and further developing assessment and planning was needed. Progress in addressing these areas has been impacted by staffing changes. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas and the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children confidently make choices and decisions about their learning. They purposefully engage in play with many sustaining their interests for extended periods. Children experience positive relationships with teachers and others. Good levels of cooperative play are evident.

Teachers promote language development, offering ideas that extend children’s problem solving and thinking. They make use of a wide range of practices that effectively support children to see themselves as capable learners. Literacy and numeracy are naturally integrated into play. Teachers support children’s social learning well.

Maintaining and strengthening relationships with children, families and whānau is a core priority for staff. Teachers are proactively exploring ways to involve families more in their child’s learning.

There are reciprocal links with South End School. Extending relationships with other local schools is a planned development. This should be useful in further supporting children and families as they move to school.

The newly established teaching team work well together. They express a commitment to ongoing improvement of kindergarten processes and practices. With the head teacher’s support teachers have begun to develop systems which should assist them to strengthen the quality of teaching and learning. Including implementing shared expectations for self-review and internal evaluation, and curriculum assessment and planning.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers work with families and local services to positively respond to the identified needs of individuals.

An acknowledged next step is for leaders and teachers to further develop bicultural practices, then consider and respond to what success for Māori children as Māori means in this kindergarten.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. They complete an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria. 

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, teachers and ERO agree that key next steps for South End Kindergarten are to:

  • develop shared understanding of processes for effective internal evaluation

  • build on assessment and planning practices

  • deepen learning partnerships with families and whānau

  • extend practices that promote a bicultural curriculum and Māori children's success as Māori learners.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Progress against an action plan, that addresses the key next steps will be monitored by ERO.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of South End 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 South End Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 December 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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 19, Boys 14

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

October 2016

Date of this report

21 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

January 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.