Mapusaga Aoga Amata - 16/04/2012

1 Background

Introduction

A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Mapusaga Aoga Amata governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the May 2010 ERO report or issues identified since that review.

The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • the quality of the programme and the extent to which it challenges and extends children’s learning
  • the quality of governance and management processes, including strategic planning and self-review
  • any other issues relevant to the governance, management and operation of the aogathat arise during the course of this review.

2 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Mapusaga Aoga Amata operates in the grounds of the Samoan Congregational Christian Church (EFKS) in Christchurch. It provides care and education for up to 23 children, most of whom are Samoan. Parents, staff and church leaders are represented on the management committee. The centre has been established to promote gagana Samoa and provide early childhood education within a fa’a Samoa cultural setting. The programme reflects the centre’s affiliation with the EFKS church. Times for worship and thanksgiving are naturally integrated into daily practices. Previous ERO reports have noted high levels of gagana Samoa used by children with their peers and with staff. The centre has continued this good practice.

The 2010 ERO report noted that there were significant areas of review and development needed to improve the quality of the programme. The centre manager enlisted external support to address areas of concern. Teachers have increased opportunities for children to be involved in some more complex play. Children now choose from a variety of resources within well defined curriculum areas.

Children are well settled and demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging in the centre. Children are supported to learn Samoan and are confident participators in the cultural content during routines and group times.

The centre has made provision for the ongoing threat of earthquakes. In keeping with good health and safety procedures, the centre staff have continued to conduct regular earthquake drills, and reflected on earthquakes and how best to be prepared. These practices have continued to build children’s confidence and resilience.

Since the February 2011 earthquake, the centre has suffered a loss in roll numbers as many families left the area. Plans are underway to promote the centre and build its roll. The earthquake and its aftermath also affected how well and how fast other centre improvements could be made. Despite all of this, managers and teachers have worked together to meet these challenges. In January this year the centre was successfully relicensed under the 2008 Early Childhood Services Regulations.

The professional development that management have successfully sought provides teachers with an opportunity to network and share good practice. This continues to encourage good ongoing teaching and learning developments within the centre.

Future Action

ERO will review the centre again as part of the regular review cycle

3 Findings

The Quality of Education

Background

In 2010 ERO identified a need to challenge and extend children’s learning. Teachers have made progress towards addressing the quality of the programme implementation and evaluation. They have accessed external support to address these matters. The aoga’s commitment to professional support has enriched the programme.

The 2011 Christchurch earthquake threatened the centre’s operations. It led to a re-prioritising of centre development.

Areas of progress

Belonging. The atmosphere in the centre is calm and settled. Children have a good sense of belonging in the centre. Partnerships with families are well established. Samoan culture, values and beliefs are evident in relationships, interactions, mat times, and in the environment. Teachers speak gagana Samoa to children and expect that children should respond similarly. Music and wall displays affirm children’s Samoan heritage from a modern and traditional perspective. Gagana Samoa and Christian values are evident in the centre.

Extending children’s learning. Teachers have begun to demonstrate a more planned approach to extending children’s learning. Teachers are more confident in noticing and responding to children’s interests and develop plans that encourage continuity through further learning.

Learning environment. Mapusaga’s vibrant and attractive environment strongly reflects the centre’s Samoan culture and identity. A spacious indoor and outdoor environment provides opportunities for children to engage in sustained play. Photographic displays at children’s level promote literacy, numeracy and learning in gagana Samoa. Children make choices about their play from a variety of learning opportunities provided by teachers.

Planning and assessment. Children’s dispositions and interests guide teachers planning of programmes that promote children’s learning. Assessment portfolios record children’s learning outcomes and processes. Learning stories make links to Te Whariki and include next steps for children’s learning. Teachers document their reflections about the programme in action and children’s progress.

Interactions. Most teachers consistently respond to children and appropriately become involved in their play and activities. They incorporate a sense of fun into their interactions as they engage children in friendly and culturally appropriate conversations. Their interactions with children are courteous and respectful.

Some teachers are particularly supportive of children’s choices of activity and facilitate these well. Some staff sustain children’s interest in activities particularly well. They do this by working at children’s level and using conversations to encourage children’s involvement and extend their thinking and ideas.

Earthquake safety procedures. Since the major earthquake of 2011, the centre manager and teachers have documented procedures for children to follow in the event of an earthquake. The aoga has had regular earthquake drills and participated in discussions about what to do in the event of an emergency. Teachers and children have shared their experiences of the 2011 quakes, helping them to process the event and its impact on their centre and their families. Teachers have offered emotional and spiritual support to their community.

Areas for further development and review

Develop thinking strategies. Teachers should continue to use conversations to help develop children’s thinking strategies and enhance children’s problem-solving skills. Teachers could also encourage children to use language to manage their relationship with others as well as to solve problems.

Under two programme. The programme could be enhanced by a specific programme for children under two years of age. Programme plans for under two’s could include planning for children’s learning and development. This would enable staff to respond more directly and appropriately to the language and learning needs of babies and toddlers.

Planning for children’s interests. Despite notable improvement in the centre’s response to extending and challenging children’s interests, more could be done in this area. Teachers could provide richer and more meaningful activities to cater for children’s interests. Teachers could also develop children’s interests further by encouraging more in-depth conversations with and between children. This should enable children to be more expressive and communicative in play.

The Quality of Management

Background

ERO’s 2010 report identified improvements needed to sustain progress and ongoing development. The centre was advised to seek external support to achieve this. Since the last ERO review, the centre managers and teachers have participated in professional development. They have also put together systems and management processes to help improve learning outcomes for children.

Areas of progress

Leadership and management. The supervisor is a respected leader who works with the teachers and management committee to evaluate progress and ongoing improvements. The management group is committed to the vision and philosophy of the aoga to provide gagana Samoa and fa’a Samoa values, beliefs and traditions to the children and families and their community.

Self review. Documentation of self reflection and ongoing review of programme planning provides clear direction for teachers. The managers ensure teachers and parents voice their perspectives on the programme. ERO suggests that managers could now analyse teacher reflections and feedback to identify key areas of focus and improvement.

Appraisal system. The centre has sought external support to establish an appraisal system for the aoga. Managers have now refined appraisals into a more developmental process that focuses on key strategies to improve children’s learning. The supervisor is, appropriately, being appraised by an external consultant.

Areas for further improvement

ERO notes the effort made by the centre to improve management procedures and practices. Ongoing development with external support will help centre staff to continue to refine and improve management practices and processes and help ensure positive outcomes for children. The managers and teachers should continue to strengthen and refine self-review processes to develop a stronger framework for centre operations.

4 Recommendations

ERO recommends that:

  • reflections and feedback are collated and analysed to inform planning to do with key focus areas
  • self-review processes include greater critical analysis of the programme being offered to children
  • teachers determine how they will sustain the learning they have gained from professional development within their current planning and self-review cycle.

5 Future Action

ERO will review the centre again as part of the regular review cycle.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

16 April 2012

About the Centre

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

23 children, including up to 8 aged under 2 years

Roll number

17

Gender composition

Boys 10 Girls 7

Ethnic composition

Samoan 15, Samoan/European 2

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

16 April 2012

Previous ERO reports

Supplementary Review,May 2010

Education Review, April 2006

Education Review, June 2004

16 April 2012

To the Parents and Community of Mapusaga Aoga Amata

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Mapusaga Aoga Amata follows.

Mapusaga Aoga Amata operates in the grounds of the Samoan Congregational Christian Church (EFKS) in Christchurch. It provides care and education for up to 23 children, most of whom are Samoan. Parents, staff and church leaders are represented on the management committee. The centre has been established to promote gagana Samoa and provide early childhood education within a fa’a Samoa cultural setting. The programme reflects the centre’s affiliation with the EFKS church. Times for worship and thanksgiving are naturally integrated into daily practices. Previous ERO reports have noted high levels of gagana Samoa used by children with their peers and with staff. The centre has continued this good practice.

The 2010 ERO report noted that there were significant areas of review and development needed to improve the quality of the programme. The centre manager enlisted external support to address areas of concern. Teachers have increased opportunities for children to be involved in some more complex play. Children now choose from a variety of resources within well defined curriculum areas.

Children are well settled and demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging in the centre. Children are supported to learn Samoan and are confident participators in the cultural content during routines and group times.

The centre has made provision for the ongoing threat of earthquakes. In keeping with good health and safety procedures, the centre staff have continued to conduct regular earthquake drills, and reflected on earthquakes and how best to be prepared. These practices have continued to build children’s confidence and resilience.

Since the February 2011 earthquake, the centre has suffered a loss in roll numbers as many families left the area. Plans are underway to promote the centre and build its roll. The earthquake and its aftermath also affected how well and how fast other centre improvements could be made. Despite all of this, managers and teachers have worked together to meet these challenges. In January this year the centre was successfully relicensed under the 2008 Early Childhood Services Regulations.

The professional development that management have successfully sought provides teachers with an opportunity to network and share good practice. This continues to encourage good ongoing teaching and learning developments within the centre.

Future Action

ERO will review the centre again as part of the regular review cycle

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)