School of Fish Childcare - Mangere Bridge

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

4 Rimu Road, Mangere Bridge, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of School of Fish Childcare - Mangere Bridge

How well placed is School of Fish Childcare - Mangere Bridge 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.


School of Fish, Mangere Bridge is a newly established, purpose built education and care service in a residential area close to Mangere Bridge Township. The owner/director has another centre in Onehunga.

The centre is licensed for 44 children, including 12 up to two years of age. Since opening in 2016, the centre's roll has steadily increased. About a quarter of the children enrolled are from diverse ethnic backgrounds. There are two separate indoor and outdoor spaces for infants and toddlers and for preschool children.

The established leadership team at the Onehunga centre has helped to set up the Mangere centre. The two centres share some management and curriculum approaches. The owner/director works closely with the newly appointed manager and an external mentor. She is committed to building leadership capacity in both centres and encouraging professional learning for all staff.

The centre's philosophy is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning. The philosophy recognises the individuality of children, and the importance of teachers listening to children and giving them the time to make choices. The teachers' role is to facilitate learning led by the child.

The Review Findings

Teachers have established trusting relationships with children and their whānau and know the families well. Children have many opportunities to make choices and make decisions about their own learning activities. They are confident to articulate their preferences and ideas. Older children learn to negotiate, and problem solve.

Infants and toddlers enjoy the unhurried pace of the programme and explore in an environment that encourages their sense of belonging. Children are familiar with routines and are becoming competent with self-help skills that build their sense of independence.

The environment is well designed to support children's learning. Teachers have considered how to best use spaces to maximise children's learning and play. Children are aware of expectations and respect their environment. They benefit from a wide range of experiences that foster their curiosity and creativity.

Teachers engage children in respectful interactions and giving children time to make their own decisions about their play. They model effective conversations with children and are sensitive to children's personal preferences.

The centre's commitment to promoting a bicultural programme for children is very evident. For example, te ao Māori is consistently acknowledged and teaching actively promotes children's cultural identities and languages. Waiata, karakia, celebrations, access to resources such as poi, and the use of the centre's korowai for its graduates, are some of the ways teachers are building their bicultural curriculum.

Parents feel welcome at the centre. Teachers invite them to contribute to the programme. Parents appreciate teachers' sensitive approach to transitioning children into the centre, through the rooms and on to school. Teachers respond to the goals and aspirations of whānau in their community.

A team leader responsible for curriculum implementation works closely with the teachers to provide programmes that reflect the centre's philosophy. The curriculum is responsive to children's interests and learning goals. Teachers plan for groups and individuals, and work well together to provide inviting open-ended experiences for children. Children's learning is recorded in attractive portfolios that show their learning over time. Relevant and professional learning opportunities help teachers to improve their planning.

Good governance and management systems are in place to guide centre operations. A comprehensive policy framework guides centre practices. The owner/director works collaboratively with leaders and staff to embed management policies and procedures, and to build leadership and professional capability.

Internal evaluation is used extensively to guide improvement. However, the process used would be strengthened by making greater use of evaluative questions to guide inquiries into the effectiveness of current management and teaching practices and to identify changes that might improve centre operations.

There are strong systems in place to build teacher's professional practice. An external mentor is working with centre staff to implement a strengthened appraisal process that aligns with Education Council requirements and encourages teachers to reflect on their practice. Relevant professional learning and development supports teachers' professional growth.

Key Next Steps

The director, centre manager and curriculum mentor agree that key next steps include:

  • strengthening internal evaluation, by using evaluative questions to guide the centre's inquiries into current practices and to help improve operations.

  • continuing to support teachers to deliver a bicultural curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of School of Fish Childcare - Mangere Bridge 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 School of Fish Childcare - Mangere Bridge will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 November 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


Mangere Bridge, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

2 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.