Wellington South Kindergarten - 22/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Wellington South Kindergarten

How well placed is Wellington South 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.


Wellington South 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. 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.

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 January 2012 ERO report for Wellington South Kindergarten identified that planning and assessment, self review, appraisal and implementation of Te Manawa needed further development. Many areas recognised as strengths have been sustained.

Areas where the association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified at the time. 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. A diverse programme and warm interactions between children and teachers continue to be strengths.

All teachers at Wellington South Kindergarten are qualified. At the time of this review, an appointment to the part-time teaching position was pending. The centre operates mixed-age sessions five days a week. Children attending the centre come from many different ethnic backgrounds.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Aspects of the philosophy are highly evident in practice. Children are encouraged to lead learning for themselves and others. Their play is supported by teachers who use appropriate strategies to ensure they develop skills in English, as an additional language.

Teachers provide a child-centred and holistic curriculum that supports the learning needs of the ethnically diverse kindergarten community. Staff encourage children's exploration and investigation and support the development of their social behaviour. Child-initiated numeracy and literacy activities are highly evident.

Teachers have close ties with children and their families. Suitable processes support parents and children who have English as a second language. Entry to the kindergarten for these families is personalised and thoughtfully managed to meet families’ individual needs. Support to prepare for progression to school is also given.

The consistency of quality in assessment of children’s learning and the sharing of this through individual profile books requires further development. They successfully respond to individual and group interests.

Self review is established and beginning to contribute to decision making and positive change. A next step is for teachers to further their understanding and implementation of these processes.

Teachers are reflective and work well together. Support for the development of teachers as leaders should be provided in a consistent, timely manner in order to ensure continued growth and development within the centre.

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

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. These continue to require development. 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.

Children at Wellington South Kindergarten have frequent opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. There is a considered approach to sharing and respecting all cultures within the centre. Association leaders acknowledge that they need to build teachers’ capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity. This development should include establishing relationships with mana whenua and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Wellington South Kindergarten:

  • to review and strengthen assessment and evaluation of children’s learning, including the use and presentation of their profile books
  • to strengthen approaches for the development of professional practices and leadership within the centre, including self review and appraisal.

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
  • regular implementation of a robust appraisal system
  • building teachers’ capability to be more responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wellington South 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.

In order to improve practice, leaders need to be clear about how they use equity funding to promote learning and the sense of belonging for children and families.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Wellington South Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 June 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service


Wellington city

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22,

Boys 20

Ethnic composition






NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups








Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

22 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

January 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.