A'oga Amata (Porirua) E F K S - 20/10/2017

1 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.


A'oga Amata (Porirua) EFKS (AAPE) provides good quality education and care for children. The a'oga is licensed for 72 children, including 22 under two years of age. Most children are Samoan and the roll includes a small number of Māori children.

The philosophy emphasises Christian values, Samoan language and culture, and the unique place of tangata whenua. A'oga leaders are committed to supporting high quality outcomes for children.

The a'oga is governed by Porirua Ekalesia Fa'apotopotoga Kerisiano i Samoa (EFKS) Church. It is managed by an elected committee of parent, church and community representatives. A parent/teacher committee provides regular fundraising support for the a'oga.

The a'oga operates in attractively renovated houses opposite the church premises. The property is well maintained. Three age related rooms, provide separate indoor spaces with adjoining decks for the two younger groups. The landscaped outdoor environment is shared by all age groups. Staffing is stable. Five of the seven staff are qualified early childhood teachers.

The 2014 ERO report identified self review, strategic planning and police vetting as next steps for development. Progress has been made in most of these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are confident in their Samoan culture and language. They have many opportunities to develop oral language skills and friendships. Children engage well in imaginative and cooperative play. They enjoy interacting with each other and with adults. Te reo Māori is included through waiata, karakia and simple instructions. Children access good quality resources and curriculum experiences in maths, science and early literacy.

Infants experience caring one-to-one support from teachers. Teachers could consider how they can enhance the learning environment for under two year olds to better respond to individual children's stages of development and goals.

Teachers articulate a shared understanding of child-led learning and respectful practice that values children's play. They systematically plan, assess and evaluate children's learning through their interests and dispositions. Teachers are developing their reflective teaching practice and internal evaluation to improve their daily practice. They should continue to integrate literacy and mathematics within the context of play.

Teachers share strong, reciprocal relationships with children and their families. Parents have good opportunities to share children's learning. Parents can engage in informative community workshops that support learning partnerships.

Teachers are beginning to look at ways to provide a more challenging programme for the older children through projects. They should review the programme and learning environment to lessen interruptions and better support sustained play for children. Improving children's independent access to the outdoor learning environment, and experiences that extend their thinking and physical challenge are next steps.

The a'oga manager actively engages in external networks and professional development. She encourages teachers to keep up-to-date in their professional learning and to implement new learning through their practice. A new appraisal process is being introduced and is more aligned to Education Council requirements, professional development, research and daily practice.

The board is committed to the a'oga philosophy and to supporting children's learning, wellbeing and success, in partnership with parents and communities. The board has sought external advice to improve financial management processes. Strategic and annual plans could be strengthened by including goals and action plans that align with ongoing internal evaluation.

Key Next Steps

Priorities to improve outcomes for children and centre sustainability include accessing external support that will improve:

  • teaching practices that support an emergent, child-led curriculum

  • internal evaluation processes with the use of effective practice indicators

  • administrative systems and a policy review cycle to ensure that licensing and legal requirements are kept up-to-date.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified the following areas of non-compliance. The service needs to improve:

  • records of risk assessment, analysis and management, including clear identification of adult-to-child ratios

  • outdoor equipment to ensure it meets safe-fall requirements

  • records of emergency drills carried out, and evaluation that informs the annual review of the service's emergency plan

  • personnel, employment and child protection policies and procedures relating to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS8, 17; GMA7.

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.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 October 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

72 children, including up to 22 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 32 Boys 31

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands 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

July 2017

Date of this report

20 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.