It is hard to believe that the first term is almost over! After what has no doubt been a busy start to the year, I hope you can take a moment to reflect and consider how valuable it is too, as you form new relationships with the children and young people you are working with, their families/whānau, get into new routines, establish expectations and get down to the nitty gritty of teaching and learning.
ERO remains committed to ensuring that early learning services and schools are empowered to support our tamariki to learn and reach their full potential, regardless of who they are and where they come from. It is an exciting time to be in the education space, there is a lot going on.
This year we have an intense programme of work. We are revising our quality review framework for early childhood services to take into account the broad changes in the sector, as well as the recent changes to the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki (2017)
The changes to Te Whāriki are significant – the previous version had been in place for 20 years. In the second half of 2017 we gave specific attention in our reviews to leader and teacher awareness of the changes, and how they are influencing service operation and practice. There is an update in this edition of ERO INSIGHTS on some of our early findings. We will publish a full set of findings later in the year.
In the Māori medium space we are developing indicators for use in kōhanga reo, and in the English medium space for primary and secondary schools new frameworks that assess the success of te reo Māori teaching. The revitalisation of te reo Māori is a critical goal for this government and for New Zealand more broadly so I am excited that, in time, we will have established the necessary framework to support ongoing growth and improvement in the teaching of te reo Māori.
We’ve recently published research into newly graduated teachers and the challenges they face adjusting to the operational environment. It’s in all our interests to support new teacher graduates in the workforce – please read our article on the results and suggested changes to practice.
We also continue our Teaching Strategies that Work series with an analysis of maths education in the senior primary, a time when many children lose their way with mathematics. The Teaching Strategies that Work series is evidence-based and simply presented. Hopefully teachers will find it a useful shortcut for improving their maths teaching practice.
Next in the series are reports that focus on the importance of establishing rich learning partnerships between teachers/leaders and parents/whānau, and teaching strategies that improve reading. We will let you know when they are published.
The changes to school based reviews, described in the previous ERO INSIGHTS, have received positive affirmation from the sector that they have been effective, and that our reviews are more strongly adding to schools’ improvement journey.
I hope you enjoy this issue of ERO INSIGHTS, which includes:
Chief Review Officer
Please email us your feedback, thoughts and ideas for the next isue of ERO Insights.