A'oga Amata (Porirua) E F K S - 07/11/2014

Evaluation of A'oga Amata (Porirua) EFKS

How well placed is A'oga Amata (Porirua) EFKS 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.


Aoga Amata (Porirua) EFKS is administered by the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa (EFKS) church Porirua, Wellington. The service provides education and care for children from birth to school age. It operates under the guidance of a management committee. The committee is made up of nine elected members including teachers, parishioners and parents.

The service’s philosophy is based on Christian principles, and Samoan language and culture. The philosophy was developed in consultation with staff and parents and focuses on promoting children’s well being. It incorporates the Samoan concept of Falalalaga and references children’s heart, head, hands and feet.

At the time of the 2010 ERO review this service operated under two separate licences. In 2013 the service worked with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to change to one licence. The centre has three separate areas for different age groups of children. There has been continuity of leadership under these changes.

The service has been selected as a support provider for five local Pacific services under the MoE initiative Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO).

The Review Findings

Children have opportunities to learn and use the Samoan language. Staff are confident and competent Samoan speakers. Mat times provide an additional the opportunity for children to learn and share together through prayer, song and dance.

Children are settled and show a sense of belonging in the centre. They are confident learners and follow their interests through a variety of learning experiences. Children’s conversations are encouraged, accepted and respected. They enjoy engaging in imaginative and creative play.

Teachers work collaboratively to ensure positive learning outcomes for children. They have well established routines and they promote children’s independence. Teachers have caring relationships with children.

Teachers provide babies and toddlers with attentive and responsive care. They support their need for strong and secure attachments. These younger children are well supported to become increasingly independent. Teachers ensure that children experience positive transitions into and through the service, and when they move on to school.

Programme planning is based on children’s interests, strengths and development stages. Literacy and mathematics are promoted through the daily programme. Teachers demonstrate respect for the Tiriti Te Waitangi by developing children’s knowledge of te reo Māori. Teachers work with a professional development provider to strengthen their planning and assessment practice and progress is clearly evident.

Parents contribute to programme planning and celebration of children’s successes. They are well informed about their children’s learning through assessment information in children’s individual portfolios. Children’s and parents’ voices are included in these portfolios.

The well-resourced and attractive environment invites children’s exploration. The outdoor space includes trees, shrubs and well-tended vegetable gardens. A wide range of play equipment offers children of all ages good opportunities for imaginative play and physical challenge.

Self review informs decision making, particularly at the teaching level. Teachers reflect on the quality of their practice. A new appraisal process has been designed to strengthen this process.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the managers agree that next steps include strengthening:

  • self review to guide ongoing programme development and the future direction of the service
  • alignment of the strategic plan to the service philosophy
  • teachers’ curriculum knowledge of all mathematics strands.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of A'oga Amata (Porirua) EFKS 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.

In order to improve practice centre managers should implement the new health and safety policies.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. The service must ensure that:

  • all non-registered staff are regularly police vetted [Education Act 1989 Sections 78C to 78D].

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of A'oga Amata (Porirua) EFKS will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

7 November 2014

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

72 children, including up to 22 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31

Girls 26

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Cook Island Māori






Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

7 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2010


Education Review

March 2007


Discretionary Review

April 2002

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.