Akoteu Falemaama Pre-School - 24/01/2020

1 Evaluation of Akoteu Falemaama Pre-School

How well placed is Akoteu Falemaama Pre-School to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Akoteu Falemaama Pre-School is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.


Akoteu Falemaama Pre-School is a Tongan, full-day early childhood service that is governed by the Auckland Tongan Methodist ECE Service Provider, under the jurisdiction of the Methodist Church of New Zealand. It provides for up to 50 children with a maximum of 15 up to two years of age. Most of the children attending are of Pacific heritage and a small number are Māori.

The board of governors is made up of members from the centre and the church community. It includes parent representatives, the pastor, and elders of the church. A new centre manager has been appointed and is responsible for centre operations and administration.

The service provides a bilingual curriculum that supports Tongan language and culture, underpinned by Christian values. Children are viewed as seeds with the potential to grow and blossom in their individuality together with a strong collective sense of identity and culture.

The centre's philosophy emphasises the importance of children receiving love and being nurtured within a stimulating learning environment. A supervisor is responsible for curriculum and teaching. There are three registered early childhood teachers and three support staff.

The centre manager and teachers have made progress in addressing key next steps identified from the 2016 ERO report. Areas for improvement included leadership, staff performance appraisal and privacy at board meetings.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to settle into the centre and are familiar with the centre routines. They experience respectful relationships with teachers and their peers and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. Children have opportunities to work independently or in groups. They follow and explore their curiosity and imagination through play.

The centre is well resourced. Children have access to a variety of resources and equipment, and a shared outdoor space. Teachers have created an attractive, inviting learning environment that supports children's sustained play.

Infants are particularly engaged and focused in their exploration. Teachers maintain a calm and unhurried programme in which younger children have space and time to lead their learning. There are caring tuakana/teina relationships between older and younger children. Teachers have positive relationships with children. Their interactions are nurturing and encouraging.

Some children speak confidently in multiple languages, including Tongan, Samoan and English. Teachers can speak and support children's languages, reaffirming their cultural identities. Teachers use several languages with children to increase vocabulary and promote oral language.

Children have opportunities to participate in literacy, mathematics and science experiences. Teachers should continue building their knowledge of how to extend children's understanding of science.

The service's commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is enacted well by teachers and modelled for children. Children are learning to use te reo Māori through waiata and basic words.

Assessment and planning practices are effective. Planning priorities and intended learning outcomes for children identify effective teaching practices to support children's learning. Individual records of children's learning celebrate their personalities and interests.

Parents/whānau are beginning to contribute to what teachers know about children. Teachers identify children's learning in their curriculum evaluation. It would be useful for teachers to document how they respond to children's learning dispositions and working theories.

Leadership is highly effective in promoting and ensuring improved practices and systems are maintained. A useful internal evaluation process has been established. There is clear evidence that internal evaluation is contributing to improved teaching practices that contribute to positive outcomes for children. Teacher appraisal systems meet Teaching Council requirements. Teachers have identified strategic priorities and are systematically working towards achieving these.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for ongoing improvement include:

  • increasing support for infants and toddlers to develop self-managing skills

  • improving teachers' knowledge and understanding of effective assessment practices and teaching strategies that focus on enhancing dispositional learning

  • evaluating the impact of curriculum experiences and teaching practices on learning outcomes for children

  • planned opportunities for teachers to talk about their practices and to build shared understandings about effective teaching approaches.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoteu Falemaama Pre-School 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.

Since the on-site phase of this review, centre managers have taken steps to improve several aspects of health and safety procedures including administration of medication.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

24 January 2020

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


Ranui, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14 Boys 10

Ethnic composition



other Pacific groups




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

24 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2016

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.