Aiga Paia A'oga Amata - 14/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Aiga Paia A'oga Amata

How well placed is Aiga Paia A'oga 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.


Aiga Paia A'oga Amata is a Samoan language nest that offers full day education and care service for up to 30 children from birth to school age. The aoga is located on the grounds of the Holy Family School in Porirua. A management committee that includes community representatives, the school's principal, and aoga leaders governs the aoga, and sets its strategic priorities and direction.

Gagana and aganu'u Samoa and the Catholic faith underpin the centre's philosophy and curriculum. Strategic appointments in the management committee and the aoga has resulted in significantly improved management of the aoga.

ERO's 2014 report identified development priorities that included improving the quality of teacher appraisals, the use of evaluative questions and clear indicators in the aoga's self-review, and strengthening teaching practice. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

The aoga's philosophy is strongly evident in the programme. Children enjoy a sense of belonging through the aoga's gagana and aganu'u Samoa. They are confident to express their feelings and needs, and to ask for support in their play. Children enjoy mixed age play at times. Flexible arrangements are made for children under two years old who are nurtured by teachers in their separate indoor and outdoor play spaces.

Culturally appropriate interactions and relationships between children and adults are evident. The environment supports children's languages and cultures. Teachers have developed inclusive relationships with parents, who feel comfortable in the aoga. Parents' perspectives are valued. Teachers could now deepen their response to children's home experiences and parent's involvement in their child's learning.

The large indoor and outdoor spaces provide many opportunities for children to create imaginative play. Changes to the outdoor environment are being considered, and these changes should be planned and monitored through the aoga's strategic and annual planning, and evaluation processes.

There are good systems for planning and documenting the curriculum programme. The aoga's curriculum planning is linked to Te Whāriki the early childhood curriculum. Curriculum documents show an increasing focus on children's interests. Teachers could use a greater range of deliberate teaching methods to enhance and extend children's learning.

Transition support for parents and children is creating closer ties between the aoga and the local Catholic school. The principal is a member of the aoga's management committee, and has become an integral part of the aoga's decision making.

The new, capable faia'oga senia (head teacher) manages the aoga operations efficiently. She supports staff in their roles, and promotes professional learning and developments to teaching practice. Relevant professional learning opportunities link well to teachers' appraisal goals. The teaching team is collegial and strongly collaborative in their shared purpose and ongoing team connectedness.

The management committee's governance structure provides good support for guiding improvement focused decisions. Long and short term planning and the new internal evaluation model have lifted staff expectations, and developed shared understandings about effective early childhood education. Internal evaluation is engaging staff and parents in ongoing improvements to the aoga. Better appraisal processes are resulting in a more positive staff culture and improved outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Aoga leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • embedding governance practices and promoting sustainability and improvement

  • continuing to strengthen staff understanding of professional practice in early childhood education

  • increasing teachers' responses to children's home experiences and interests

  • evaluating how effectively the curriculum programme is promoting children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aiga Paia A'oga 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 Aiga Paia A'oga Amata will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

14 November 2017

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


Porirua, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 7 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 15 Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

14 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

February 2013

Supplementary Review

August 2009

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.