Toru Fetu Kindergarten - 28/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Toru Fetu Kindergarten

How well placed is Toru Fetu Kindergarten 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.


Toru Fetu Kindergarten is located in Porirua East, Wellington. It was the first purpose-built Pasifika Kindergarten, and was established as a result of the aspirations of the Tuvalu, Cook Island, and Niue communities in partnership with the kindergarten association.

The kindergarten is licensed for 80 child places, 24 of these being for children under 2 years of age. Since the 2012 ERO review, there have been some changes to the leadership team. All staff in regulated positions are qualified, registered teachers and are supported in the programme by a cook, administrator, and kindergarten-based students (KBS) who are training to be teachers. The learning/community liaison teacher facilitates working relationships with a number of support agencies to provide a wraparound service for the predominantly Māori and Pacific community.

Developing whanaungatanga for its community underpins all kindergarten practices. The kindergarten promotes a philosophy which nurtures and celebrates the Tuvalu, Cook Island and Niue languages and cultures.

The kindergarten 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.

Support from the association has enabled teachers to strengthen teaching and learning strategies. Teachers and leaders have been involved in relevant professional development. A playgroup run by the association operates three mornings per week in the community room.

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

In 2012, the 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. Toru Fetu teachers have used this to develop their own curriculum document that reflects the socio-cultural context of their community.

ERO's May 2012 report identified that self review, and extending and challenging children's learning and teaching strategies were areas for development and review. Improving these has been a priority for staff and significant progress has been made.

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

The Review Findings

The focus on promoting a sense of pride and belonging, and nurturing the mana of each child is evident in culturally responsive practices. Children's language and culture are celebrated and valued. Bicultural practices and children’s wellbeing and cultural identity are a key feature in the kindergarten. Children relate well to each other and to adults and benefit from the centre's strong connection to their parents and whānau.

Children learn through play, and a commitment to inclusion is integral to the kindergarten’s philosophy. They are valued as capable and confident learners and are well engaged as active participants in their own learning. Children make choices and are encouraged to persevere, problem solve and take risks.

There are high levels of cooperative play and tuakana teina relationships are promoted. Children learn many skills and attitudes through relevant and meaningful learning activities that build on the experiences they bring from home. They are also given opportunities to lead. Teachers use deliberate and consistent practices to support infants and toddlers across the kindergarten.

The curriculum is rich and responsive to children’s interests, strengths and culture. It incorporates the centre’s philosophy and parents’ aspirations. Teachers use a good range of effective teaching strategies that support children to learn through play. They provide relevant experiences to extend children's interests and strengths.

Teachers have focused on strengthening their understanding of assessment. Hard copies of portfolios are valued and revisited by children, teachers and parents. Robust planning cycles for groups and individuals inform future and ongoing learning.

Teachers work collaboratively and support each other. They reflect the diverse cultures in the community. Teachers know the children and their whānau well. They invite parents to share their goals for their children and involve them in the programme in various ways. Parents and whānau benefit from the respectful consultation process and decision making for improvement.

Teachers are highly reflective and think deeply about their practice to inform future direction. They are supported to take on different leadership roles to achieve their goals. They attend relevant professional learning and contribute to internal and sector wide professional presentations about their practice. Teachers are committed to ongoing improvement and building a culture of inquiry.

The bicultural curriculum is being strategically developed through the work of the bicultural strategic team. Te ao Māori practices are becoming a stronger focus for teachers. The association has a focused commitment to biculturalism and embracing diversity. They have targeted resources and personnel to better meet specific needs of children and their families.

Leaders work cohesively in a strong team where relationships are a key component to building a cohesive leadership team. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are well understood. There is support for emerging leadership and teachers are given opportunity to develop their strengths and interests.

Leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively to provide clear documentation of all processes and procedures. There are sound systems in place for managing health, safety and accountability.

A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s self review. Leaders and teachers are highly reflective. Self review is used well by teachers to scrutinise what they do to improve aspects of the programme and centre operations. The next step is to increase their focus on evaluating how well teaching and learning practices improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and association managers are clear about the future focus areas to strengthen review and evaluation. These include:

  • developing termly evaluation of the strategic teaching and learning goals

  • increasing the variety of data gathered and deepening the analysis of this information to inform evidence based decision making

  • enabling parents and whānau perspectives to contribute to this process

  • using the findings from evaluation of the review process to strengthen the implementation of subsequent reviews and evaluations.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Toru Fetu 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 Toru Fetu Kindergarten will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 June 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


Porirua East

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 51, Boys 47

Ethnic composition




Cook Island




Other ethnic groups









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

28 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 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.