St Andrews College Preschool - 09/03/2020

1 Evaluation of St Andrews College Preschool

How well placed is St Andrews College Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

St Andrews College Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


St Andrews College Preschool provides full-day education and is licensed for 42 children over 2 years old. In 2018 the preschool moved into a newly built centre and in 2019 it was relicensed. It is based on the grounds of St Andrew's College and sits adjacent to the Preparatory School.

St Andrews College Preschool's current philosophy is based on a set of priorities for learning. These are intellectual, emotional, social physical, wairua and environmental. The core values that guide how the preschool operates are compassion, connection, inspiration and inquiry. The vision for the preschool is to create a beautiful learning environment where children are guided to direct their own learning alongside professional teachers, family and whānau and the local community. The strategic themes that drive the preschool's direction are: planning for the future, investing and growing leadership capability, expanding curriculum and sustaining excellence in teaching and learning.

The preschool reports to the principal of Preparatory School, who is the licensee. The head of preschool has been recently appointed and leads a long-serving teaching team who are all early childhood qualified. Leaders and teachers have successfully addressed the recommendation from the previous education review in 2015.

St Andrews College preschool is part of the Waimari-iri Kāhui Ako| Community of Learning.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a curriculum that is responsive to their interests, needs and strengths. They are settled and engaged in a programme that provides opportunities for children to show agency, independence and leadership in their learning. Children know and respond to well-established and well-considered routines and practices which include whānau hui, kaitiaki time and celebrations. Strong respectful relationships are fostered with families that support children's sense of belonging.

Teachers work collaboratively to plan and respond to the skills and dispositions of children. This is done through intentional planning for individuals and groups for children. Teachers purposefully use self review to drive improvement to the programme and their teaching practices. They provide a rich learning environment where children benefit from a range of opportunities and learning experiences, including learning alongside current college students and the use of school/college resources and facilities.

Children learn in an environment where a strong commitment to integrating bicultural practices is valued and fostered. A whānau hui starts each day, kaitiaki (Māori Gods) line the preschool's walls and are often referred to in pukapuka (books) that the tamariki (children) have illustrated. When a child graduates, a korowai ceremony has become part of the preschool's tikanga. Children are able to integrate te ao Māori into their environment in their korero (conversations) with their peers, teachers and their whānāu (family). The preschool prioritises building teacher/leader capability and confidence in using te reo Māori in the day-to-day programme.

All children are well supported including children with a need for additional help. Centre leaders and teachers have developed strong links and work with external agencies. Children and their families who are transitioning into, within and beyond the preschool are well supported by careful planning and effective communication. The preschool has strong relationships with the adjacent Preparatory School and other schools.

The preschool has useful systems and processes to support outcomes for children that are improvement focussed. A recent evaluation of assessment and planning practices has led to a more responsive programme that better includes parents' aspirations and better meets the needs, strengths and interests of each child. Deliberate succession planning has been undertaken to ensure consistency and continuity of improved practice and approaches. Leaders and teachers have built constructive learning partnerships with parents and whānau that are fostered through strong communication strategies.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps to promote positive outcomes for all children are for the head of preschool and kaiako (teachers) to:

  • review strategic and annual plans, and the preschool philosophy to more clearly reflect and align with their context and emerging priorities
  • continue to strengthen internal evaluation practices to know the impact or difference made to outcomes for children
  • extend culturally responsive practices to include the cultures, language and identities of all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of St Andrews College 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

9 March 2020

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


Papanui, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

9 March 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

December 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.