The Ole Schoolhouse - 18/11/2013

1 Evaluation of The Ole Schoolhouse

How well placed is The Ole Schoolhouse 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 Ole Schoolhouse is located in central Rotorua. It is a privately owned, full-day, education and care service that caters for children from three months to school age. The centre is licensed for 50 children, including 18 children up to two years of age. Children enrolled at the centre represent a culturally diverse community.

The centre promotes a philosophy of every child being unique in terms of life experience, developmental readiness, and cultural heritage. The centre aim is to provide a safe, nurturing, stimulating environment that accommodates and embraces diversity. Staff are committed to promoting the spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child.

Since the last ERO review in 2011, the centre has made significant progress in enhancing the environment and teachers’ practice. The centre owners and head teacher strongly encourage and support teachers’ participation in ongoing professional learning and development to enhance their practice. Positive progress has been made in relation to the areas identified in the previous ERO report relating to assessment, positive guidance strategies and self review.

The recently completed building and further alterations have enhanced and extended space for children to learn and play. The additional space has also provided an opportunity for staff to reorganise the learning areas to better meet the range of children’s age levels. The new decking, sand area and playground have improved indoor/outdoor flow and play facilities for all age groups.

The Review Findings

Children and their families have a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging. Teachers are friendly, welcoming and responsive to the needs of children and their families.

Significant features that enhance programmes for children include:

  • the good range of opportunities for children to learn through play and to become independent explorers
  • genuine, reciprocal relationships between teachers, parents, whānau and children
  • caring, responsive and supportive teacher/child interactions, and cohesive team work that is focused on children
  • close and affectionate relationships between teachers and infant children
  • calm and unrushed individualised care routines
  • attuned teachers with a deep appreciation of the language, culture and identity of individuals
  • sustained commitment to embedding concepts of whanaungatanga, aroha and manaakitanga, and teachers frequent use of te reo Māori.

Centre owners provide strong governance for the centre and work collaboratively with staff, parents and whānau towards achieving high quality education and care for all children. They have a clear vision, philosophy and strategic plan which are understood and shared by management, teachers and families. Together with the head teacher, they are establishing a culture where children and their families are valued, celebrated and affirmed, and high-quality self review is an ongoing centre focus.

The head teacher is a knowledgeable and capable leader of learning. She has created a positive culture where teachers are increasingly confident to share ideas and try new approaches and strategies. Teachers contribute diverse experiences, knowledge and skills to the team and their work with children.

Teachers are increasingly using children’s interests as the basis for planning a curriculum that is responsive to their ideas and curiosity. They use assessment information gathered from multiple perspectives to plan possible extension opportunities for individuals. Children’s portfolios show clear continuity of learning and development. Learning stories highlight the strong connections between the centre and family and whānau.

The curriculum provides many opportunities for children to develop a wide range of skills and social competencies to support their learning, and to enable a positive transition to school. Literacy and mathematical concepts are integrated in ways that are meaningful and responsive to children’s interests. A variety of attractive resources prompt children to engage in active exploration of the environment.

Parents are well informed about their children’s learning. In addition, centre owners place high priority on providing high quality resources and information for parents about strategies for enhancing children’s wellbeing, growth and development. Parents spoken to by ERO expressed a high level of satisfaction with the service. They enjoy the centre website created for parents to view and contribute to their children's learning and to be informed about centre activities. They particularly value the open communication and respectful relationships with centre owners and staff.

Key Next Steps

ERO, centre owners and the head teacher agree that the following priorities for ongoing centre development are to:

  • continue to review and explore approaches and resources that support the successful transition for children and their whānau from ECE to school
  • introduce more formal and frequent observations to provide teachers with regular feedback and feed forward about their practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Ole Schoolhouse 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 Ole Schoolhouse will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 November 2013

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

50 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 26 Girls 25

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other European

South East Asian

Cook Island Māori











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

October 2013

Date of this report

18 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

April 2008


Review Type

Click here to enter a date.

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.