Conclusion

Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa – where the child is the focus in kōhanga reo, the likelihood of producing quality learning outcomes is high.

The learning journey of children in this sample group of kōhanga reo is compelling. It underlines the importance of a learning environment that enriches children’s emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual wellbeing, as the foundation for the strong start they need to be successful lifelong learners. Ngā Taumata Whakahirahira and Te Whāriki a Te Kōhanga Reo are fundamental for structuring and designing the kōhanga reo learning programme. The content is informed and transferred by whānau, kaumātua, kaiako and kaiāwhina through the critical and complementary roles each plays. These roles within and across all kōhanga reo are similar in nature, however, the content, protocols and practices are unique to their context. This uniqueness emerged as the point of difference of each kōhanga reo and is captured and reflected in their vision, aspirations, protocols, practices and stories. The teaching and learning of the content, influenced by their uniqueness, were identified as conditions for a high-quality learning environment where children receive mātauranga Māori, observe and practise tikanga Māori and speak te reo Māori so they function effectively in te ao Māori.

ERO identified that where the learning environment, learning programme, key actors (whānau, kaumātua, kaiako and kaiāwhina) and learning content are tailored, present and applied, successful outcomes for children will occur.