Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga - 08/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga

How well placed is Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga 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.


Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga operates in Whangarei, under the governance of the Northland Kindergarten Association. It is a well-established service that provides teaching and learning from a bicultural perspective. It is licensed for 30 tamariki over two years old and offers six-hour sessions to respond to community needs. All the tamariki currently enrolled are Māori.

The kindergarten team comprises a kaiwhakahaere (head teacher) and two other registered mahita (teachers), an administrator and a cook. The kaiwhakahaere and some other staff are new to the kindergarten since the 2014 ERO review. This team has developed its own philosophy that is influenced by the model of Te Whare Tapa Whā, based on Taha Tinana, Taha Wairua, Taha Whānau and Taha Hinengaro.

ERO's 2014 report noted positive relationships and children's strong sense of belonging, and bicultural practices as strengths. These features have been maintained. Mahita have shown a commitment to continuing to improve in the areas for development identified in ERO's 2014 report.

The Association provides a framework of policies, procedures and expectations that guides kindergarten management and curriculum practices. Teachers are supported in their practice by Association personnel. A Pou Whakarewa Tikanga Māori Advisor supports teachers to strengthen their bicultural understanding and practices. An Association Speech Language Therapist and Social Worker also provide valuable support to children, whanau and teachers. A Professional Practice Manager (PPM) visits regularly and provides leadership and curriculum guidance for teachers through professional discussion and written reports.

This review was part of a cluster of three kindergarten reviews in the Northland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Tamariki and whānau arrive each day to a calm, settled environment. Mahita and parents have a strong bond that supports the comfort and care of tamariki in the kindergarten. Whānau who spoke to ERO value the care and nurturing ways mahita build children's confidence and potential to achieve ongoing success as Māori children.

Respectful relationships create the strong sense of trust between adults and tamariki. Inclusive approaches ensure that all children, including those with diverse learning needs, are welcomed and appropriately catered for. Strengthened relationships with local schools have resulted in positive transitions for tamariki to school.

Tamariki have a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing. They play cooperatively and are able to make choices about how and where they play. Tamariki are valued and affirmed by mahita for what they bring to their learning, and are very well supported to develop social competencies.

Tamariki benefit from a spacious, creatively presented indoor learning environment that provides a good range of activities and learning areas. They have easy access to the outside learning environment. Mahita are keen to further develop this area to ensure that learning challenges and opportunities for exploration are available for tamariki.

The Association has a strong commitment to bicultural practices and working in partnership with Māori whānau to achieve educational success for Māori children. Teachers' integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is highly evident in the child-focused programme.

Mahita work alongside tamariki, observing and responding to individual interests. Whānau are encouraged to contribute to the learning of their tamaiti through sharing their knowledge and skills. Individual learning stories show the way tamariki participate in the learning programme. Teachers skilfully link stories to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The kaiwhakahaere models enthusiasm, leadership and openness. Mahita are highly motivated and reflective practitioners. They work collaboratively and use each other's strengths and passions. Internal evaluations are regular and their purpose is well understood. Recording evaluative questions that are more clearly focused on the children's learning would help mahita to plan ways to support more complex child-led learning.

Very good Association support and effective management practices help to sustain quality practices. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems, including teachers' appraisal, in response to changes in legal requirements. The Association is responsive to the changing needs of the community. Effective use of Government equity funding contributes to good provision for children with additional learning needs.

The Association has a strong commitment to continuous improvement in educational outcomes for children. Teachers are able to access regular professional development through the Association, and are also supported to attend learning opportunities provided by external providers. This support fosters the Association's expectations of high quality, evidence-based teaching.

Key Next Steps

Kindergarten leaders have recognised that in order to sustain and enhance current practices, next steps are to:

  • continue to explore ways to make teaching strategies more visible in planning and assessment, and to show the role of mahita in extending children's learning overtime

  • strengthen the documentation of evaluation to show how internal evaluations and changes to teaching practice impact positively on learning outcomes for tamariki.

Association leaders agree that the next steps are to:

  • simplify and align long term and annual plans

  • continue to build evaluation capability among the teaching teams.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga 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 Te Timatatanga o te Matauranga will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 June 2018

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, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17 Girls 13

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

April 2018

Date of this report

8 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

October 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.