Nuanua Kindergarten

Education institution number:
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Samoan ECE service
Total roll:

103 Hereford Street, Cannons Creek, Porirua

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Nuanua Kindergarten - 14/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Nuanua Kindergarten

How well placed is Nuanua 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.


Nuanua 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.

Situated in Cannons Creek, Porirua, Nuanua was the first Pacific Island kindergarten in New Zealand after its initial beginning as culture-based playgroups operating under the Porirua Pacific Island Presbyterian Church (PIC). In 2008, the PIC church approached the ex-Wellington Kindergarten Association with a view to amalgamation, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was subsequently developed.

The association is responsive to the cultural integrity and aspirations of Tifa Ola Akoga Tokelau and Fetu Pupula Aoga Samoa and supports the kindergartens focus on fostering the language and cultures of the Tokelauan and Samoan communities.

In 2014, the kindergarten moved to its new site adjacent to Cannons Creek School and the PIC facility. PIC continues to be involved and supports the kindergarten in an ongoing way, including recently revising the MoU.

The teaching team are all qualified and registered. They reflect the diversity of children and families.

An association run playgroup operates each day in the kindergarten's 'tanoa' community space. A trained registered teacher leads and guides this session.

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. Nuanua also receives guidance from the senior manager responsible for communities and participation.

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 previous ERO report for Nuanua Kindergarten identified that self-review processes, appraisal and annual planning required development. These areas have been a priority for staff and considerable progress has been made.

This review was part of a Pacific cluster of three kindergarten and three home-based services reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children show a positive sense of belonging to the kindergarten. They confidently make choices and enjoy the company of their peers. Older children were observed supporting younger children with their play. There are some good opportunities for children to be involved in play for extended periods and lead their learning.

Language, culture and identity are valued, visible and actively encouraged. Relevant contexts for learning and culturally appropriate experiences are integral to the programme.

Teachers foster connections to home, kindergarten and the community to support children's learning and wellbeing. Staff knowledge of children's culture supports effective curriculum responses. There are many ways that parents, families, aiga and the wider community are involved in the kindergarten.

There are good opportunities for children to learn about healthy eating and active movement.

Teachers continue to work with the association's Kaitiaki o Kaupapa Māori to further grow their knowledge of te ao Māori.

There have been significant developments in establishing and building systems that assist in promoting positive learning outcomes. These include: regular purposeful team meetings and teacher practice discussions; involvement in professional learning and development responsive to staff needs, strengths and interests; and improvements to self review, and health and safety systems.

Ongoing development of assessment and planning processes are more clearly showing children's learning and how teachers support this in the programme.

Managers and senior teachers are successfully leading change and improvements to kindergarten practices. They support teachers to critically reflect on and grow their practice. Self-review processes are in place. These are used to inform and improve curriculum responsiveness. The current self review of interactions should be useful in supporting the focus on deepening interactions between teachers and children.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. They complete an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal process. Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the senior teacher, senior head teacher and staff and agree that the key next steps for Nuanua Kindergarten are to continue developing and embedding assessment, planning and internal evaluation.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 June 2016

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

60 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 13

Ethnic composition





Cook Island






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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

14 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 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 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.

Nuanua Kindergarten - 29/05/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Nuanua Kindergarten is situated in Cannons Creek in Porirua. It is one of two purpose-built Pacific Kindergartens in New Zealand. The Samoan and Tokelauan cultures are nurtured within the scope of one Pacific kindergarten. Plans are in place for a new building on the current site.

Nuanua began as part of a collective of culture-based playgroups operating through the Porirua Pacific Island Presbyterian Church. It is now under the umbrella management of Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association is responsive to the cultural integrity and aspirations of each group and supports the centre’s focus on fostering the language and cultures of the Tokelauan and Samoan communities.

The teaching team is led by a head teacher with support of an association senior teacher and a pacific coordinator. The change in management has renewed the staff’s commitment to the vision of providing high quality education in a rich cultural environment.

Children participate in a programme that acknowledges their cultural competencies. There is a balance between the integration of Samoan and Tokelauan languages. This is clearly observed through children’s learning stories. They gain confidence with their language development through the early literacy experiences available. They are guided in a positive and supportive way to be confident, competent learners.

The environment allows children to make choices about their level of interaction with resources. They freely move and design their own spaces outdoors. Routines are well established. Children are familiar with them which reinforces their sense of place. Teachers take all reasonable steps to make the kindergarten safe for children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Nuanua Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atNuanua Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • association support.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education


Nuanua Kindergarten has separate teaching spaces that support children up to two years and those over two years old. Samoan and Tokelauan languages are spoken in both spaces. Building plans are in place to develop separate Samoan and Tokelauan environments.

In 2009 the kindergarten came under the umbrella of the association. Association personnel provide support for systems and procedures, opportunities for professional development and leadership, strategic placement of staff, and induction and mentoring for provisionally registered teachers. The association is responsive to the cultural integrity and aspirations of each group.

Areas of strength


The programme is responsive and flexible and provides children with continuous opportunities for play. Within the programme there is a shared understanding and integration of diverse cultural values. Other features include:

  • singing, music and movement that are well integrated into activities

  • conversations between children occurring in multiple languages

  • planning that is firmly based on observed children’s interests, is clearly documented and well-displayed to inform staff and families. Cooperative weekly planning meetings involve team and individual teacher planning and support consistent practice across the centre

  • teachers who are responsive to children’s questions and demonstrate openness to learning alongside children

  • appropriate resources provided for children up to and over two years old

  • the programme that is responsive to the role of parents and whānau.

  • younger children freely engaging with and learning from older children

  • children’s learning and progress captured in attractive individual profile books. Teachers support each other to develop learning stories that are multi-voice and in multiple languages.


  • Children are free to design their own space in an unstructured outdoor play area.

  • The flexibility of play space facilitates clear visibility across different areas.

  • There is good flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as between different rooms.

  • Samoan and Tokelauan cultures are celebrated through wall displays and artefacts.

  • The purpose of children’s learning is clearly displayed.

  • The environment is well maintained throughout the day.

  • Resources are accessible to children.


Interactions between teachers and children are underpinned by shared cultural values. Adults are nurturing, respectful and attuned to the individual needs of children. Children greet teachers with enthusiasm and are settled in their play. Other positive practices include:

  • children and whānau warmly welcomed to the kindergarten

  • strong reciprocal community relationships that are well-established

  • teachers modelling positive guidance strategies when conflict arises

  • teachers purposefully integrating both Samoan and Tokelauan languages in conversation with children, building children’s confidence to participate in both cultures.

  • teachers recognising the significance of identity for long term educational success. They strive to be inclusive of all cultures and languages, including te ao Māori and te reo Māori.

Area for development and review

Planned self review is emerging amongst staff. The head teacher and teaching staff recognise the need for systematic self review to establish a culture of continuous improvement. As part of establishing a culture of systematic self review, staff should focus on fostering teacher’s capacity to more effectively engage children through the use of critical questioning strategies.

Association Support

Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association

Nuanua is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the licensee for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.


The 2008 ERO review of the association identified several strengths, including the provision of professional development, sound operation plans, support for property development and the use of a range of communication strategies to keep teachers and communities informed. Areas for improvement included the quality and depth of the written feedback given to teachers by the senior teacher and strengthening the appraisal process.

Since 2008, the association has led consultation with the community to modify session times and improve the ratio of teachers to children from 1:15 to 1:10 and maintained its policy of employing qualified, registered teachers in regulated permanent positions.

The association provides expectations and guidance to the kindergarten through its strategic plan, policies and procedures and more recently, the professional development strategy Te Manawa: Criteria for Curriculum Implementation.

Areas of strength

The association continues to provide high levels of guidance and support to teachers for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These include:

  • the strategic plan setting expectations for participation, parent/whānau involvement and quality teaching practices

  • clearly defined indicators of quality teaching and learning practice through Te Manawa

  • a wide range of professional development opportunities, including well considered support and guidance for provisionally registered teachers

  • ongoing support in property development, human resource management, finance and resourcing.

Areas for development and review

The association, senior teachers and ERO have identified areas where the association can strengthen its support for teachers. These include:

  • further developing and supporting leadership, including a review of the appraisal process

  • reviewing how kindergarten’s annual plans for teaching and learning could more explicitly show how teachers respond to the association strategic priorities.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Nuanua Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreManagementAssurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);

physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);

staff qualifications and organisation; and

evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Recommendations

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agreed that the priorities for development and review are those outlined in the report.

5 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years,

Joyce Gebbie

Acting National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the Centre


Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Roll number


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Samoan 9, Māori 8, NZ European/Pākehā 7 Tokelauan 4, Other ethnic groups 4

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

29 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

This is the kindergarten’s first report

General Information About Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.