Akoteu Lou'Olive Preschool - 28/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Akoteu Lou'Olive Preschool

How well placed is Akoteu Lou'Olive Preschool 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

Akoteu Lou'Olive is a bilingual Tongan centre operated by the Free Church of Tonga in Glen Innes. The akoteu is licensed for 25 children, including five up to two years of age, and promotes mixed-age play for children.

The centre’s philosophy is aligned with the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and promotes Christian and faka Tonga values. The philosophy also includes a statement about the importance of bicultural practices. A management committee comprised of church members, staff and two parent representatives provides governance support. The akoteu employs two qualified teachers, including a supervisor to oversee daily teaching operations. There are three permanent relievers.

The 2015 ERO report identified some progress in teaching and management practices. These improvements have been maintained. The 2013 report also recommended providing more challenge in the programme and improving aspects of strategic planning as key next steps. Good progress is evident in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children experience an early childhood education programme in a serene and positive learning environment. The akoteu's focus on faka Tonga and Christianity is enacted well. Teachers model Tongan language and culture, and also integrate te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme.

Teachers work collaboratively and provide a programme that supports children, and promotes good opportunities for music and movement. Children are encouraged to express themselves confidently, and are settled in their play.

Teachers have accessed professional learning to plan programmes that follow children’s interests. These programmes link well with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers promote literacy and mathematics as part of children's play.

Children would benefit from engaging with more challenging learning resources that encourage rich exploration and sustained play. A wider variety of good quality learning resources is needed to extend children’s learning.

Teachers provide infants and toddlers with positive care. Teachers are learning to document what they notice about individual children's development, and to plan a responsive programme. As teachers build their knowledge of effective learning for this age group, they should focus on providing more stimulating and developmentally appropriate programmes.

Teachers' relationships with parents and kainga are reciprocal and respectful, supporting children to have a strong sense of belonging. Parents are involved in the programme and feel welcomed in the akoteu. They appreciate the move to electronic learning stories that promote sharing of children's experiences with between teachers and families.

The management committee has prioritised ongoing property development to improve the outdoor learning environment and update equipment for physical play. The committee is governing and managing the akoteu effectively. Centre staff appreciate the church's active financial support for children. The akoteu policy framework supports its direction and operations well.

Leaders and teachers review the akoteu philosophy regularly. It would be useful for the committee to regularly review its strategic plan and evaluate progress towards its strategic goals.

Key Next Steps

The management committee and supervisor agree that priorities for development include:

  • assessment and planning for a responsive and challenging programme that promotes children's thinking and creativity

  • developing robust evaluation processes that use indicators of effective practice to evaluate improvements over time

  • providing adequate learning resourcing to support an effective teaching programme
  • continuing the process of aligning teacher appraisal processes with new Education Council requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoteu Lou'Olive Preschool 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 Akoteu Lou'Olive Preschool will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 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

Location

Glen Innes, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25064

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

25

Gender composition

Boys 15 Girls 10

Ethnic composition

Tongan

25

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

28 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

April 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.