Waitangirua Kindergarten - 08/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Waitangirua Kindergarten

How well placed is Waitangirua 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.


Waitangirua Kindergarten is a well-established centre in Porirua. It 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. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

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

All teachers at Waitangirua Kindergarten are qualified and registered. Since the April 2012 ERO review, a new head teacher has been appointed. Additional part-time staff support the children’s learning. These include, a Samoan cultural aide, a language extension teacher and a kapa haka kaiako.

The previous ERO report identified areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergartens’ annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 kindergarten reviews in He Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children learn in a welcoming, happy and secure environment. The kindergarten philosophy is clearly evident in practice. The uniqueness of each child is acknowledged and provides a basis for decisions about the curriculum.

Children show confidence and independence. Established routines foster their security and enable them to be prepared for significant daily events. These include mat time, programme activities and meal times.

Building and maintaining responsive relationships between teachers and families is a significant focus for staff. Open communication informs the programme and promotes children’s wellbeing. Teachers encourage and value whānau and aiga contributions to the kindergarten and a sense of partnership is apparent.

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.

The head teacher and staff at Waitangirua Kindergarten make effective use of Te Manawa to guide their practice. Individual and group assessment of children’s learning, and parents’ aspirations for their children, are appropriately used to plan the programme. Teachers have identified a next step is to continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation of children’s learning. ERO's evaluation affirms this next step.

Teachers successfully respond to children’s diverse needs. They are proactive in supporting children as they transition to school. Staff involvement in a recent research project has increased teachers’ knowledge and understanding of this important aspect of children’s learning.

The kindergarten is well led. The head teacher has established appropriate priorities for change management. Systems to support continuing improvement and evaluate progress are strengthening. The head teacher works well with her team to develop a shared understanding of effective teaching. Knowledge of self review for improvement continues to grow and has led to positive change.

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve appraisal processes. These continue to require strengthening. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

Children have many opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers have an understanding of Māori and Pacific perspectives across all areas of the curriculum. They recognise that children have a unique culture and history based upon strong genealogical links and relationships. They engage with families’ language and culture to make the kindergarten more inclusive and meaningful for their wider kindergarten community. They view each family, and its knowledge of their child, as an integral part of the kindergarten’s learning community.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Waitangirua Kindergarten to continue to strengthen:

  • the assessment and evaluation of children’s learning
  • self-review practices.

At association level, the senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. These should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25, Boys 24

Ethnic composition



NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups





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

March 2015

Date of this report

8 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2012


Education Review

May 2008


Education Review

September 2005

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.