Uplands Kindergarten - 11/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Uplands Kindergarten

How well placed is Uplands 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.


Uplands Kindergarten is a sessional and full-day community based kindergarten in Remuera. It is owned and operated by the Somervell Presbyterian Church. The kindergarten operates in a purpose built facility on the lower ground floor of the church building. There has been a major upgrade to the outdoor play area since the 2014 ERO review.

The kindergarten is governed by a management committee, comprised of volunteers from the congregation, parent representatives and members of the Church's ministry team. The teaching team of three registered teachers is led by the full-time head teacher.

Christian values and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, continue to underpin the centre ethos and practices. The kindergarten's vision and philosophy promote respectful and reciprocal partnerships with whānau and the wider community. It also supports a learning environment that is nurturing and flexible in order for children to develop as competent and confident learners.

ERO's 2014 report noted that children were eager, confident and articulate communicators. They were supported by teachers who encouraged them to be active problem solvers and to manage relationships with others. These positive aspects are still evident. The head teacher and teachers continue to make progress with the next steps identified in the 2014 report. These included developing self review and strengthening bicultural practices.

The Review Findings

Children and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. Children settle quickly in activities of their own choice. Teachers value positive relationships with whānau. They include and respond well to children's diverse cultures and learning needs.

Teaching practices enhance children's sense of themselves as successful learners. Teachers regularly discuss children's learning and collaboratively plan to build on individual and group interests. Their relationships with children are respectful and responsive. They use the 'notice, recognise and respond' approach to support children's emerging interests, and extend children's thinking. Routines during the day provide opportunities for children to listen to story-telling, join in musical experiences, explore healthy eating habits and learn about environmental sustainability.

Parents appreciate the inclusive and community-focused approaches of the staff, and value how well staff communicate with them about their children's care and learning. Teachers work alongside children and their parents/whānau to guide and support children's learning development. As a result of these and other good practices, children have a strong sense of belonging in their centre.

The centre is developing bicultural practices. Teachers are growing their understanding of, and ability to implement, a bicultural programme through the use of te reo, waiata and tikanga Māori in programme planning. Children with home languages other than English are well supported in their learning. Leaders and the management committee should now evaluate their own understanding of what biculturalism means, to better inform their strategic planning and decision-making processes.

Transitions into and out of the centre are well managed. Teachers have formed good relationships with local schools, and make efforts to help children to comply with schools' academic expectations. Teachers continue to strengthen the improved practice of including early literacy, mathematics and science in the everyday play programmes, rather than relying on formal preschool sessions.

Leaders are committed to promoting quality teaching and child-led learning, and to increasing teachers' professional capability. Teachers have generous access to professional development and often share their learning with the team.

Managers regularly review policies and procedures. The review cycle should also include evaluation of the effectiveness of both the strategic and annual plan. The head teacher acknowledges the need to align teacher appraisal processes to the centre's strategic plan.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for development should include:

  • including a clearer focus on outcomes for children in the centre's strategic and annual planning, and in internal evaluation, in order to guide ongoing improvement

  • improving the appraisal process to better reflect the Education Council requirements

  • continuing to develop assessment of children's learning to include whānau contributions and to better inform programme planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Uplands 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 Uplands Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

11 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


Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16 Boys 14

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

11 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

December 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.