Sagata Ana Childcare - 05/04/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Sagata Ana Aoga Amata is a Samoan language-based early childhood centre. It provides education and care for children from six months to five years of age. The aoga amata is affiliated with the Samoan Catholic Association and is located adjacent to St Anne’s, a Catholic integrated school in the commercial area of Newtown, Wellington.

The centre continues to make improvements. Teachers’ participation in professional development has had a significant and positive impact on the quality of assessment and planning. The aims and goals for the programme are now based on what teachers know about children’s strengths and interests.

Teachers are actively involved in children’s play. They identify children’s emerging interests and use conversations to stimulate children’s thinking. Many conversations are in Samoan. Children show high levels of understanding of the language and are able to respond appropriately. Te reo Māori is also included in the programme through waiata, words and phrases. Children continue to be immersed in gagana Samoa in the centre.

The learning environment is attractive and inviting. New resources have had a positive effect on extending children’s play. The current focus on numeracy is supported by games and sophisticated puzzles that strengthen children’s understanding about numbers. A previous focus on literacy is evident in good quality story and research books, and children’s skills in drawing and writing for pleasure.

Teachers have reviewed and modified daily routines to suit children’s needs. Children take part in activities that appropriately reflect the centre’s Catholic Christian philosophy. The length of time children are expected to stay on the mat has been significantly reduced and is now appropriate to the age of children and their concentration levels.

Since the 2009 ERO review, a new manager has been appointed. Centre documentation has been updated, and sound management processes established. The centre is well-positioned to continue to provide good quality care and education for children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Sagata Ana Aoga Amata was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atSagata Ana Aoga Amata.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The 2009 ERO report identified good progress in establishing effective teaching practices. ERO suggested that professional development on programme planning would help teachers to provide more effectively for children’s strengths and interests. ERO also noted that mat times interrupted children’s play and that children would benefit from improved resources, and greater focus on social play.

Areas of strength

Professional practice. Teachers have continued to strengthen their professional practice. Whole-centre professional development has enabled them to establish effective systems for assessing children’s learning needs and planning programmes. Children now benefit from programmes based on their learning strengths and interests.

Interactions. Children are relaxed and trusting with teachers. They are eager to talk and share their ideas about their play. Many of these conversations are in Samoan. Teachers use open-ended questioning to prompt children to think and solve problems. Children are friendly with their peers, engaging them in conversation and playing in cooperative ways.

Infants and toddlers. Infants and toddlers receive loving and attentive care. For most of the day they may choose to play in their own designated space, or with the older children. Teachers include younger children in conversations that promote their vocabulary and recognise their achievements. Teachers encourage children’s independence and sense of wellbeing. These children enjoy a relaxed flow to the day.

Young children. Children are busy with their chosen play, showing high levels of concentration and pleasure in their successes. They receive affectionate support to feel competent and, as a result, are confident and willing to persevere with difficult tasks. Children are articulate and friendly. The younger children enjoy being with their older peers, who are gentle and inclusive of them.

Extended play. Teachers have revised their mat times to better suit the needs of children. Teachers keep this time brief, and children enjoy participating. Reduced interruptions enable children to engage fully and extend their activities and games.

Environment. Management and teachers have made significant improvements to the learning environment. Most of the resources for younger children have been replaced with easily accessible new toys and equipment to support their play. The older children’s play has also been encouraged and supported by the provision of new equipment and the development of the environment, particularly the outdoors. Equipment to support children’s balance, confidence and upper body strength has been provided by a health organisation.

Te reo Māori and cultural recognition. Teachers include te reo Māori in waiata, words and phrases. While the philosophy of the centre states that education will strengthen children’s Samoan language and understanding of Samoan culture, teachers also understand the need for children to learn about the dual cultural heritage of New Zealand.

Parents and community. Parents spoken to during the review are very positive about the quality of the programme provided for children. They expressed the view that skilled teaching and a lively programme is supporting their children to make good progress in their learning.

Management. The centre manager and committee have made good progress in developing systems that support the smooth operation of the centre. A comprehensive strategic plan is supported by well-documented annual plans that are displayed for parent information. Self-review systems are well established and are supporting teachers to make sound decisions about the effectiveness of programmes.

Areas for development and review

Matters for review. Teachers are enthusiastic in their support of children’s play. Sometimes this enthusiasm pushes the noise levels above appropriate limits. Teachers should evaluate noise levels and other aspects of centre operations, such as:

  • extending aspects of numeracy in programme planning

  • monitoring safe-fall zones around equipment

  • encouraging newer parents to share information about their children with teachers.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Sagata Ana Aoga Amata completed an ERO Centre Management Assurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Recommendations

ERO and the centre managers agree that effective self-review processes should continue to guide on-going improvements to the quality of care and education.

5 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Roll number

25

Gender composition

Girls 14, Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Samoan 21

NZ European/Pākehā 5

Māori 4

Tongan 4

Indian 2

Japanese 1

Review team on site

January 2012

Date of this report

5 April 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, March 2009

Education Review, January 2006

Supplementary Review, June 2004

To the Parents and Community of Sagata Ana Aoga Amata

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Sagata Ana Aoga Amata.

Sagata Ana Aoga Amata is a Samoan language-based early childhood centre. It provides education and care for children from six months to five years of age. The aoga amata is affiliated with the Samoan Catholic Association and is located adjacent to St Anne’s, a Catholic integrated school in the commercial area of Newtown, Wellington.

The centre continues to make improvements. Teachers’ participation in professional development has had a significant and positive impact on the quality of assessment and planning. The aims and goals for the programme are now based on what teachers know about children’s strengths and interests.

Teachers are actively involved in children’s play. They identify children’s emerging interests and use conversations to stimulate children’s thinking. Many conversations are in Samoan. Children show high levels of understanding of the language and are able to respond appropriately. Te reo Māori is also included in the programme through waiata, words and phrases. Children continue to be immersed in gagana Samoa in the centre.

The learning environment is attractive and inviting. New resources have had a positive effect on extending children’s play. The current focus on numeracy is supported by games and sophisticated puzzles that strengthen children’s understanding about numbers. A previous focus on literacy is evident in good quality story and research books, and children’s skills in drawing and writing for pleasure.

Teachers have reviewed and modified daily routines to suit children’s needs. Children take part in activities that appropriately reflect the centre’s Catholic Christian philosophy. The length of time children are expected to stay on the mat has been significantly reduced and is now appropriate to the age of children and their concentration levels.

Since the 2009 ERO review, a new manager has been appointed. Centre documentation has been updated, and sound management processes established. The centre is well-positioned to continue to provide good quality care and education for children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person 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)

General Information About Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.