EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE

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Tongan Kahau Ola Early Childhood Centre 12/08/2010

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To the Parents and Community of Tongan Kahau Ola Early Childhood Centre

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 Tongan Kahau Ola Early Childhood Centre follows.

Tongan Kahau Ola Early Childhood Centre is located in a residential area adjacent to the local primary school in the Christchurch suburb of Bishopdale. The new management, supervisor and staff have made significant developments in improving the programme and service provided for children from six months to five years of age. Over the last twelve months there have been changes to staffing and management, including a new supervisor and assistant supervisor. Staff and management have also participated in professional development in response to concerns identified in the 2009 ERO review. They have benefited from the oversight of the Ministry of Education’s Pacific support staff who have worked diligently alongside them to help improve the quality of early childhood education in the centre.

Children are confident, settled and their Tongan identity is affirmed. They have good support for acquisition and maintenance of Tongan language because adults constantly talk and interact with them using Tongan. There is a shared expectation among teachers that children will respond in Tongan. A next step is to encourage children to use Tongan more consistently when they interact with each other. Staff could also develop a language policy to make clear the centre’s expectations for the use of Tongan language.

The programme and learning environment strongly emphasises belonging to the centre and the Tongan community. Children participate in rich cultural practices that include tau’olunga (Tongan traditional dance), cooking Tongan delicacies and singing. Children actively participate in lotu (prayer) and recite memory verses from the Bible as Christianity is an important aspect of Tongan culture.

New leadership, particularly in the area for children under two years of age, has contributed positively to improvements in programme implementation. Children under two years of age engage in lots of talking, singing and laughter and a lovely gentle tone is evident. Children show that they are secure in a nurturing environment. They have good opportunities to be in the designated space provided or to join the older children in their programme.

The new management committee has improved practices and continues to be supportive of staff. Managers bring a variety of skills and experiences to their roles, including financial skills. Together with the staff they have undertaken professional development about self review and management planning. Management and staff have reviewed the centre’s philosophy, financial and personnel practices. They have identified that more consistent documentation of self review is the next step for ongoing improvement.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service 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.

Richard Thornton
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

Disclaimer

Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO Corporate Office in Wellington. Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page, http://www.ero.govt.nz, for ERO office addresses.

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