Aiga Paia A'oga Amata - 23/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Aiga Paia Aoga Amata

How well placed is Aiga Paia Aoga Amata 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.

Background

Aiga Paia Aoga Amata is situated in the grounds of Holy Family School in Cannons Creek, Porirua. This full day education and care service is licensed for 30 children from birth to school age. The aoga amata operates under the guidance of a management committee. Samoan language and culture and the Catholic faith underpin the centre’s philosophy and curriculum.

The centre’s full licence was reinstated in January 2014. Management committee members and staff are involved in professional development in the Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) initiative.

The management committee, centre manager and staff have made considerable progress in addressing recommendations identified in ERO’s 2013 report. Self review, teaching, leadership and engagement with parents required improvement.

The Review Findings

Caring relationships between teachers and children are evident. There is a shared understanding of the centre’s philosophy that refers to ‘the heart, head, hands, feet and nerves’. This philosophy focuses on holistic wellbeing, and underpins the curriculum. The well-developed curriculum also includes links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Samoan language and culture are priorities. Teachers use Samoan language throughout the day and encourage children to build their confidence and understanding of the language. Children have opportunities to learn together through prayer, song and dance. Teachers demonstrate respect for the Tiriti o Waitangi by supporting children to experience basic te reo Māori and waiata. Literacy and numeracy are also emphasised at group times.

Teachers plan together and display this planning for staff, parents and children. Planning is presented as a Fala ole Mafaufau (thinking mat), representing threads of the children’s learning journeys.

Parents are informed about their children’s learning through regular conversations with staff and assessment information in children's profile books. Teachers document attractively presented learning stories to show each child’s learning and to record possible next learning steps.

The management committee have well-considered plans for building reciprocal relationships with local schools to help children in their transition to school.

A new strategic plan gives clear future direction and is linked well to the centre’s philosophy. Progress towards strategic goals is regularly monitored, promoting ongoing reflection by managers and staff. Financial management has been improved with external support.

Policies have been redesigned to link with the philosophy. A schedule for policy review is being developed. Systems for staff appraisal have been implemented. All staff contribute to self review in a process they call ‘harmonising’.

The management committee and staff have responded positively to professional development. They regularly share their new learning and make changes to teaching practices. Staff also have opportunities to extend their learning through visits to other centres. The introduction of a ‘strength-based’ approach to growing leadership is encouraging all staff to identify and build on their strengths.

Key Next Steps

The capable management committee have worked well together to make decisions about governance of the aoga amata. ERO and the management committee agree that key next steps include:

  • improving the quality of teacher appraisals through specific development goals aligned to centre goals
  • developing self review by using evaluative questions and clear indicators of quality.
  • Fully implementing curriculum policies should also be a priority to strengthen teaching. This includes:
  • increasing children’s literacy and mathematical skills
  • extending children’s thinking
  • developing effective education programmes for children up to two years of age.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aiga Paia Aoga Amata 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.

To meet requirements the service must ensure that non-registered staff are police vetted every three years.

[Education Act 1989 Sections 78C to 78D]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Aiga Paia Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 October 2014

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

Location

Cannons Creek, Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

60338

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

21

Gender composition

Boys 11

Girls 10

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tokelauan

Cook Island Māori

5

1

10

4

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

23 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

 

Supplementary Review

August 2009

 

Education Review

June 2008

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.