West End Kindergarten (Timaru) - 27/06/2018

1 Evaluation of West End Kindergarten (Timaru)

How well placed is West End Kindergarten (Timaru) to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

West End Kindergarten (Timaru) is Very Well Placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


West End Kindergarten (Timaru) is one of 12 kindergartens governed and managed by the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten (SCK) Association in Timaru. It is licensed to provide education and care for up to 40 children.

The governance board and leaders have effectively addressed the areas for improvement identified in the 2014 ERO report. Leaders and teachers have strengthened programme assessment and planning processes, and refined and embedded new self-review processes. Internal evaluation is now well-established.

A head teacher oversees the daily programme and centre operations and is well supported by a team of capable and experienced teachers. All teachers are qualified and certificated early childhood teachers. A senior teacher provides professional coaching and mentoring for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergartens in the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten (SCK) Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's philosophy is deeply grounded in the concepts of whanaungatanga, ako and manaakitanga. Teachers and parents have identified the learning that matters in West End Kindergarten (Timaru) through their curriculum priorities. These include, for children to develop:

  • early literacy skills
  • independence
  • confidence
  • friendships
  • physical skills
  • a sense of agency
  • a sense of identity.

This is further supported by the moemoeā/vision, "Where children strive to be masters of their own learning". The moemoeā emphasises the aspirations of children, teachers and whānau to provide a welcoming, stimulating, nurturing and safe learning environment through high quality teaching and learning.

Teachers provide a rich curriculum with a wide range of provocations for children to make choices and be independent. The curriculum recognises, values and responds to the cultural needs of all children. Children experience calm, unhurried routines and interactions with their teachers. Their learning is based on respectful relationships with each other and their teachers.

There are high levels of engagement in complex and creative play for all children. Children are purposefully engaged in their learning for long periods of time. They have many opportunities to work co-operatively together to achieve their chosen tasks. Children enjoy playing alone or alongside others in the attractively presented, very well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments.

Leaders and teachers respond very well to an increasingly diverse community of learners and families/whānau. Bicultural practices have strengthened across all curriculum areas and are consistently reflected in teacher practices. There is a very strong and shared commitment to provide many opportunities for children to learn te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers genuinely value and celebrate children's home cultures and languages and include authentic aspects within the learning programme. As a result, children feel an increased sense of belonging and pride in their cultural backgrounds.

Teachers use a wide range of relevant and appropriate intentional teaching strategies to support children's learning, development and wellbeing. They effectively integrate early literacy and early numeracy learning into the programme. Teachers listen carefully to the verbal and non-verbal cues of children and respond appropriately at the child's level to extend language learning and ideas in meaningful ways.

Internal evaluation has been used very effectively by teachers to assess, plan and evaluate children's learning and development. Teachers systematically plan for individuals and groups as part of their regular staff meetings. Diverse learners are well planned for and appropriately supported by teachers to be actively engaged in their learning. Teachers carefully evaluate children's learning and progression and critically reflect on their teaching practices.

Transitions into and from the centre are very well managed and appropriately meet the needs of children and their families/whānau. Teachers deliberately include opportunities for children to be independent and develop social and emotional competence. This is integrated into the learning programme to foster children's readiness and support a smooth transition to school.

Parents are kept very well informed about their child's learning and development. Teachers value parents' views and seek their contributions to continually improve outcomes for children's learning and to improve centre practices.

The experienced head teacher models a culture of positive, responsive and collaborative teaching. Teachers benefit from a shared leadership approach which supports professional practice and capability. The senior teacher provides ongoing professional mentoring and coaching for all teachers to continue to improve and strengthen practice. Teachers respond very well to regular feedback and recommendations from the senior teacher that help to shift and lift teaching practice.

The SCK philosophy, vision, goals and systems are effectively promoting positive outcomes for children. The board, managers and leaders have proactively addressed the recommendations for the association in the October 2014 report.

There is strong alignment from the SCK strategic priorities to the kindergarten priorities and plans. The board is well informed about how well each kindergarten is progressing and contributing to the strategic direction of the SCK. However, the board could know more about how well the kindergartens are improving outcomes for children and how well children are achieving in relation to the association’s valued outcomes (purpose).

The board is focused on improving outcomes for all children, including taking deliberate action to support Māori and Pacific children and children with diverse learning needs in the kindergartens. SCK leaders have developed strong networked relationships with community organisations to support children and their whānau. The next step for the board is to consider culturally responsive practice as governors and consult with Māori whānau about their views.

There are effective systems and processes for ensuring that regulatory requirements are met within the kindergartens. Relevant professional learning, improved appraisal processes and effective ongoing coaching and mentoring by the senior teachers are building teacher capability within the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

The head teacher and senior teacher have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • continue to strengthen evaluations to show the impact of teaching strategies that support children's learning and show children's progress in relation to the kindergarten's valued learning outcomes
  • report to the association more deeply on the progress children are making against the association's strategic priorities and valued learning outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of West End Kindergarten (Timaru) 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 West End Kindergarten (Timaru) will be in four years.

Dr Lesley Patterson Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

27 June 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



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

Boys: 21

Girls: 26

Ethnic composition









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

May 2018

Date of this report

27 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

June 2011

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.