Leaders and kaiako reported a high degree of awareness of, and growing confidence to begin to work with, Te Whāriki. Eighty-one percent reported they were confident to work with the updated curriculum document and just over half of these were already considering how to implement the updated curriculum. However, confidence to work with Te Whāriki to support Māori children to enjoy educational success as Māori was not as high. Thirty‑one percent of services indicated they were not at all confident or somewhat confident to work with Te Whāriki to support Māori learners. Strong pedagogical leadership and kaiako having a good understanding of Te Whāriki (1996) helped with implementing the updated curriculum.
Uptake of PLD was high. Eighty percent of the 290 services had accessed PLD from the range of opportunities available. These included Ministry of Education funded workshops, online webinars, online resources, PLD by other providers, and use of ‘in-house’ expertise. PLD was reported as useful or very useful by two‑thirds of services. The webinars were most useful as they provided an opportunity for teams to learn together. PLD was not so useful for leaders and kaiako in some services because they felt it was not pitched to the right level for them.
In most of the services, leaders and kaiako were considering the implications of Te Whāriki for their assessment, planning and evaluation processes and practices. A common starting point was to focus on assessment by using the language of Te Whāriki in assessment documentation. A few services were revisiting their expectations for children’s learning and kaiako were deepening their understandings about children’s learning.
Barriers to services beginning to implement Te Whāriki were time and leader/kaiako knowledge and understanding of the curriculum.
Next steps for these services included opportunities to meet and engage in professional discussion, unpacking and making sense of Te Whāriki, ongoing and targeted PLD, and revisiting their curriculum through in depth internal evaluation and inquiry.
ERO is continuing to evaluate the awareness and confidence of service leaders and kaiako as they begin to implement Te Whāriki. The next phase continues to focus on awareness and confidence. A further evaluation report will be published later in 2018 on the findings of the next phase of this evaluation.