Whenuapai Kindergarten - 14/08/2013

1 Evaluation of Whenuapai Kindergarten

How well placed is Whenuapai 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.


Whenuapai Kindergarten provides a full day or sessional service for up to 30 children over three years of age. All staff are fully registered teachers. The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The association provides policy, procedural and operating guidelines. It also provides teachers with regular, topical professional development and on-going support from professional managers.

The kindergarten was opened as Sunderland Kindergarten in 1986, it later moved premises and was renamed Hobsonville North Kindergarten. In 2012 the centre moved again and is now situated between Whenuapai School and the airforce base. It is now known as Whenuapai Kindergarten.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the kindergarten has faced several years of uncertainty around its future. The enthusiasm of the head teacher and several dedicated families has maintained a strong team culture. Change, while challenging, has presented staff and children with many experiences that have enriched them and the centre programme. These experiences have been captured in the new centre logo, displays, stories and songs. They form an integral part of the centre culture.

The kindergarten’s philosophy is very evident in the programme, learning environment and relationships with children and parents and whānau.

This review was part of a cluster of ten kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten has a calm settled tone, with positive relationships evident between teachers, children, parents and whānau. Teachers know children and their families well and are keen to build strong learning partnerships between the kindergarten and children’s homes.

Children are happy and purposefully active in the kindergarten. They confidently engage in cooperative and imaginative play with their friends. Children are supported to be aware of the needs of others and how their actions can affect other people. They have well developed social skills, negotiate roles and welcome others into their play.

Teachers value all children and see them as capable learners. They support children to make decisions about their play and to take leadership roles. Children select resources independently and use them in a capable, responsible manner. Children’s interests are evident in their play and the learning environment, and are extended over time.

The kindergarten’s curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, children’s interests and teacher priorities. Good processes are being established to make planning visible for children, teachers and parents. This includes having attractive wall displays that keep parents up to date and well informed about the programme.

Teachers value parent and community contributions and have sought to build relationships with the local school, the airforce base and the Māori community.

Teachers have a focus on supporting Māori children to experience ongoing success. Whānau are invited to contribute aspects of their culture and to share goals for their children. Teachers have identified a strategic goal to provide more opportunities for children to celebrate New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The learning environment is attractively set up to provide interesting areas that invite children to explore. There are many opportunities for children to be physically active and to challenge themselves.

The kindergarten’s focus is now on continuing to strengthen links with families and their new local community. They want to re-establish the strong sustainable, environmental perspective that was evident at their previous premises.

Key Next Steps

Now that the centre has settled into its new premises, kindergarten staff agree they could:

  • strengthen the evaluative nature and documentation of self review
  • continue to deepen understanding and knowledge of bicultural practices.

Teachers are working on further strengthening assessment practices and the recording of children’s learning in portfolios including:

  • making clearer how teachers respond to parent goals for their child in the programme
  • showing children’s progress with learning over time
  • monitoring the balance of individual and group learning stories in portfolios.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

14 August 2013

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


Whenuapai, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 24

Girls 23

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





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

June 2013

Date of this report

14 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review (as Hobsonville North Kindergarten

December 2009


Education Review (as Hosbonville North Kindergarten)

November 2006


Education Review (as Hobsonville North Kindergarten)

November 2003

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.