Waitangirua Kindergarten - 08/06/2020

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

Waitangirua Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Waitangirua Kindergarten is situated in Porirua. It is licensed for 41 children aged over two years. Of the 43 children on the roll, 26 identify as Pacific, and eight as Māori. The kindergarten serves a diverse ethnic community.

Since the June 2015 ERO review, a new senior teacher and two co-head teachers have been appointed. All teachers are qualified and registered.

The philosophy prioritises an inclusive, safe environment where teaching and learning caters for all tamariki, underpinned by meaningful, collaborative relationships with whānau.

The 2015 ERO report identified assessment, evaluation and self-review practices as areas to strengthen. These continue to require development.

The kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governs 103 early childhood services which include a diverse range of kindergartens, all-day education and care services, three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service. A team of senior teachers oversees and supports professional practice.

Progress has been made by the association to improve support for individual kindergartens, the appraisal process, and teachers' capability to work with Māori learners.

The kindergarten belongs to the Porirua North Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

This review was one of eight in He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association, Wellington Region.

The Review Findings

Leaders and teachers are welcoming and highly responsive to children and their families. Inclusive practices are consistently evident and modelled by all staff. Teachers greet and speak to parents and children in their home languages. A strong sense of pride and belonging is demonstrated by children, teachers and whānau. Leaders and the teaching team work to remove any barriers to children's participation. Additional community support is generously funded by the association.

Strong learning partnerships between teachers and whānau are highly valued and well established. Time is deliberately allocated to talk with and inform families about their children's learning and wellbeing. Translators are employed to support and strengthen relationships with a number of non-English speaking families.

Children's independence is strongly promoted. Targeted resourcing supports them to experience appropriate challenge and revisit their prior learning. The thoughtfully planned environment provides choice and opportunities for exploration and creativity. Teachers encourage children's efforts and celebrate their successes. Interactions are respectful. Children play cooperatively alongside each other.

Teachers effectively promote each child's sense of belonging and identity by valuing and celebrating their culture. The curriculum is highly responsive to children of Pacific heritage. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are authentically included in the programme. Teachers recognise the need to heighten the visibility and further their understanding of te ao Māori.

The curriculum is strongly centred on children’s known dispositions and interests. Teachers use these well to plan collaboratively to support children's needs, wellbeing and social competencies.

Assessment for learning requires development. While teachers notice and record useful observations of individual children’s play, learning and dispositions, there are insufficient learning stories to show how well their learning is progressing over time. The team has identified a useful framework to plan and improve their assessment practice. This should be implemented.

The head teachers have identified the need to work with their community to redefine the philosophy, values, and kaupapa that underpin the learning environment, in line with the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. A recent focus on learning about the unique history of the area and building on connections with fanau Pacific, whānau Māori and iwi, should further strengthen the local curriculum.

The senior teacher has recently assisted the teaching team to build their understanding of internal evaluation. Using this practice effectively should enable leaders and teachers to make sound, evidence-based decisions for change and improvement.

Teachers demonstrate highly inclusive practices. Children with additional learning needs are well supported. A number have individual development plans that outline consistent strategies that support children's participation in the curriculum. Leaders and teachers work alongside family and whānau to access support from external agencies, as required.

Children's transitions into kindergarten are well managed. A comprehensive report supports individual children when they move to primary school. A next step is to make sure that this information is purposely shared with new entrant teachers to promote continuity of learning.

The new head teachers are highly focused on building the professional practice of the teaching team. They lead learning, manage operations and model a strong sense of service to children, teachers and to their community. With support from the senior teacher, leaders are defining and implementing association expectations, roles and responsibilities. This should strengthen the teaching team's collective capability and enable more consistent, collaborative practices.

The association provides effective professional development and ongoing support to build the leadership capabilities of the head teachers and the teaching team. Well-considered resource allocation enhances teaching and support for children’s learning and wellbeing. There is an established culture in place which values and celebrates children and their whānau.

A well-considered appraisal process continues to be reviewed and developed to better support teachers and leaders to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Work is ongoing to build increased understanding of the association's expectations and processes.

Association leaders, including the senior teachers, work effectively together with shared commitment to the mission, vision, values and goals of the organisation. Strategic goals and objectives are focused on improvement for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Tūmanako, is providing high-level guidance for the association's future direction as Tiriti o Waitangi based organisation. A range of effective tools is used well by senior teachers to monitor the quality of, and promote improvement to, individual kindergarten practice and operation.

Key Next Steps

ERO and senior leaders agree that priorities for teachers are to continue to strengthen and embed systems and practices for:

  • te ao Māori

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • internal evaluation

  • the teaching team's roles and responsibilities.

The priority for the association is to:

  • continue to build on and follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi based Strategic Priority Framework.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

8 June 2020

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

41 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 24, Female 19

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

8 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

April 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.