Akoteu Tokaima'ananga - 04/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Akoteu Tokaima'ananga

How well placed is Akoteu Tokaima'ananga to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Akoteu Tokaima'ananga is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Akoteu Tokaima’ananga early childhood centre was established in 1996 by the Otara Tongan Methodist Church. It is located on the grounds of the church. The centre provides a bilingual curriculum that supports Tongan language and culture, and Christian values. Most of the children are Tongan or from other Pacific nations.

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 manager is responsible for centre operations and administration. A supervisor has oversight of curriculum and teaching practices. Four of the staff are registered teachers.

The 2015 ERO report identified that children experienced positive relationships with teachers and had a strong sense of belonging in the centre. ERO recommended that staff strengthen teaching and curriculum practices, improve teacher appraisal and establish strategic planning systems. Progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly to activities and engage well with the variety of resources and equipment provided. They sustain their play for good periods of time. Children make choices about their own learning and invite adults to join them in their play. They socialise well together in pairs or in small groups, expressing pleasure in their friendships with others.

Children are confident and competent speakers of the Tongan language. Their bilingual language development is well supported by teachers. Tongan language, culture and values are promoted throughout the curriculum and centre environment. Teachers incorporate te reo and tikanga Māori well, including waiata and karakia.

Infants and toddlers have good opportunities to participate in learning experiences alongside older children. Routines for these younger children are flexible and organised around children’s individual requirements.

The thoughtful use of questions by some teachers enables older children to think carefully before they share their ideas with others. Teachers provide opportunities for children to participate in literacy and mathematics learning. Their awareness of children learning science concepts is developing.

Teachers have sustained strong and responsive relationships with children and their families over time. They are beginning to respond to parents' goals for their children's learning. Assessment records show children's experiences at the centre. They include teachers' increasing analysis of the learning that happens for children in play situations. Teachers could now document how they respond to and extend children's strengths, interests and learning dispositions.

Leaders and teachers use internal evaluation as a tool for improvement. The teacher appraisal process meets Teaching Council requirements. Teachers' participation in professional development is contributing to improved practices. They could now work together to ensure they use consistent strategies to guide children's behaviour appropriately.

The governance board provides good support for leaders and teachers. A long-term strategic plan includes relevant goals that are guiding the future direction of the centre. The board and teachers could now evaluate the progress made against annual and long-term goals. This could help them to recognise how the improvements they make impact on children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include leaders and teachers:

  • using assessment of children’s learning to plan and implement a curriculum that is based on children’s individual strengths, interests and dispositions

  • continuing to improve the transition to school programme to better reflect a focus on the valued outcomes in Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum

  • strengthening internal evaluation by identifying the impact of improved teaching practices on outcomes for children

  • ensuring that health and safety systems are consistently implemented.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoteu Tokaima'ananga 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 risk analysis and management of excursions.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

4 November 2019

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


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17 Girls 16

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


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 2019

Date of this report

4 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

Education Review

September 2011

Supplementary Review

September 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.