Fotumalama O Le Taeao Aoga Amata - 19/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Fotumalama O Le Taeao Aoga Amata

How well placed is Fotumalama O Le Taeao 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

Fotumalama O Le Taeao Aoga Amata is a bilingual Samoan aoga that operates with the support of the New Zealand Methodist Churches of Samoa, Manukau Parish. The aoga is governed by an independent board of trustees. The board has been working with the Ministry of Education to increase the aoga roll. Plans for future property development and improvements to the outdoor play area are underway.

The aoga is licensed for 50 children, with a maximum of ten children up to two years of age. The children are predominantly of Samoan heritage. Small numbers of children are of Māori and other Pacific ethnicities. Children attend full time. The older and younger children have separate play areas and opportunities to interact as a mixed age group.

The long serving centre manager and recently appointed supervisor work well together to lead the aoga. They promote high expectations for staff and positive outcomes for children. The supervisor leads the curriculum and models effective teaching practice. The aoga has recently experienced a number of staff changes. The five qualified early childhood teachers are supported by two teacher aides and an administrator.

The 2012 ERO report identified Samoan language and culture, and Christian faith as strengths in the programme. These positive features of the centre’s philosophy continue to be evident.

The Review Findings

Children spontaneously speak Samoan to adults and each other as they play. Teachers continually model Samoan language in their conversations. Children have friendly and caring relationships with their peers and adults. Families are warmly welcomed by staff as they arrive. Children display a strong sense of belonging in the aoga and settle quickly to play. They are developing independence by learning to manage their own routines.

Children have access to defined areas of play throughout the aoga. During the morning programme children mostly choose from table top activities in the indoor area. Adults respond to children by talking to them about their play.

Children enjoy opportunities to lead their own creative play. They engage in lots of conversations with their peers when they are given the chance to develop their own imaginative play. Teachers should build on these good beginnings to support children’s thinking and play beyond a basic level.

Teachers are learning to be consistently responsive to infants’ and toddlers’ changing preferences and needs. The youngest children receive good care and attention for their individual needs when teachers work as a team and are flexible to children’s cues.

Staff should continue to review the learning environment for children up to two years of age to better support their needs and stages of development. Planned improvements to the outdoor play area will contribute to this. The infants and toddlers would benefit from more age related equipment that encourages exploration. Teachers should avoid overcrowding spaces with activities.

The manager and supervisor have undertaken self review to bring about improvements that are focused on positive outcomes for children. Teachers have begun external professional development to strengthen the quality of the programme. Self review and ongoing support should help teachers to develop assessment and programme planning that builds on children’s interests, engagement in sustained play and provides more challenge for older children.

A focused review of the aoga philosophy and vision and commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi should help to establish an inclusive programme that:

  • embraces Te Whāriki, the curriculum for early childhood education in New Zealand
  • supports success as Māori for Māori children
  • values children’s cultural identities.

Teachers should also regularly review the positive guidance policy and guidelines to reinforce appropriate social skills for children. This will contribute to fostering peaceful conflict resolution and respectful relationships between children.

The centre manager and trustees provides good support for teachers to advance their provisional registration. They have begun to build teachers’ reflective practice through their appraisal process. The manager should also provide the supervisor with robust appraisal and mentoring support to assist her in her role.

The manager and supervisor have strengthened self-review to ensure the aoga continues to improve. Transparent relationships between the board and centre leaders are supporting collaborative centre development. The manager develops a strategic plan in consultation with the board, parents and staff. She reports to the board against the strategic goals. Strengthening documented, evaluative self review should support the centre’s commitment to ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO agrees with the board and centre leaders plans to improve the quality of the programme and outcomes for children by:

  • accessing ongoing external teacher professional development, including specific support for the infant and toddler teachers, to enrich the programme to better meet children’s learning needs
  • continuing to strengthen self-review processes and documentation to encompass all aspects of centre operations, policies and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fotumalama O Le Taeao 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Fotumalama O Le Taeao Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 June 2015

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

Wiri, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45578

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Boys 27

Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Cook Island

Tongan

Tuvaluan

Samoan/Indian

1

42

2

2

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

19 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

2012

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.