The Barnyard - 01/05/2018

1 Evaluation of The Barnyard

How well placed is The Barnyard 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.


The Barnyard is a privately owned, full-day education and care service located in Te Awamutu. The service is licensed for 75 children, including up to 25 under the age of two years. At the time of this review there were 103 children enrolled, including six children who identify as Māori. The centre operates age-based rooms with a common outdoor area for children over two years of age. There is a separate outdoor area for infants and toddlers.

The owner is also the centre manager. She retains overall governance and management responsibilities including strategic planning, and compliance with legislative requirements. The manager oversees a team of 14 teachers, the majority of whom are fully qualified and registered.

The philosophy of the centre is to value all children as unique individuals and support them to grow as confident, competent learners. The centre has a strong focus on nature, caring for animals and the environment. There is a commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, in which parents and whānau are actively encouraged to be involved.

In response to the last ERO review in 2015, the centre has developed its internal evaluation processes. A review of assessment practices has strengthened some areas of documenting children’s learning. The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

The centre manager provides clear and visible direction for the service. She has developed a shared understanding of the service’s philosophy and vision. Sound systems and processes for internal evaluation focused on improving the quality of education have been implemented. Ongoing and relevant professional development is provided for teachers to build their knowledge and practice. Positive outcomes for all children are supported by a shared sense of purpose and well-articulated values in a stable learning environment.

The centre manager has effectively established a culture of shared leadership and collaborative teamwork. Staff strengths are identified, developed and valued. Some staff have completed qualifications in te reo and tikanga Māori. Children benefit from an environment that is underpinned by positive relationships for learning.

Children engage in a rich curriculum that is responsive to their individual interests, strengths and abilities. They have access to high-quality resources in a spacious, well-designed environment that offers challenge and variety. Children learn about and make sense of the natural world by caring for animals and growing gardens. Teachers use children’s interests to plan experiences and extend learning. Sensitive and personalised transitions between rooms are well managed in partnership with parents, in order to support the emotional wellbeing of children. Learning portfolios affirm children’s identities as successful learners. Children are supported to experience success in meaningful learning contexts.

Teaching and learning practices effectively support children to develop as capable and confident learners. Teachers have successfully established respectful and reciprocal relationships with children. They carefully observe children and are highly responsive to their interests and needs. Children are empowered through having choices and being able to make decisions about their learning. Inclusive strategies and partnerships with parents and external agencies support personalised and equitable learning opportunities for children who require additional support. Teachers have developed strong partnerships and effective communication methods with parents and extended family to support children and enhance learning. Children have a positive sense of self and confidently lead their own learning.

Infants and toddlers under the age of two experience respectful care. Personalised routines and consistent, familiar teachers enable children to have secure relationships and attachment. Teachers are skilled at interpreting children’s non-verbal cues and are highly responsive to individual temperaments. The learning environment is nurturing, unhurried and calm.

Key Next Steps

The centre leader and ERO agree that key next steps are:

  • to further support children's language, culture and identity through strengthening bi-cultural practice and visibility of te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum and assessment documentation
  • to further inquire into how effectively the revised Te Whāriki the early childhood curriculum is implemented as shared practice in the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Barnyard 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 The Barnyard will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

1 May 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


Te Awamutu

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 54 Girls 49

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

1 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

February 2012

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.