A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated - 25/10/2013

1 Evaluation of A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated

How well placed is A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated 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 Fa’a Samoa is a well established total immersion Samoan centre, located on the Richmond Road Primary School grounds. The aoga is licensed for 50 children including up to 16 aged up to 2 years. Many children transition into the school’s Samoan bilingual unit. A collaborative transition programme supports children and families.

Managers and staff have a commitment to providing a high quality learning environment that promotes the Samoan language, culture and identity. Samoan values of alofa, tautua and fa’aloalo underpin the aoga’s philosophy and vision for Samoan children and their families. The well qualified teaching team facilitate professional learning for other centres to develop teaching practices. The aoga continues to be involved in research and innovation.

A centre manager works with the management committee to manage aoga priorities. The longstanding teachers display strong commitment and shared high expectations for delivering high quality learning opportunities for children.

ERO’s 2010 report identified many positive aspects of good performance and recommended managers develop their management planning framework. Since 2010, the aoga has made good progress to align the strategic, management and centre plans more clearly.

The Review Findings

Managers continue to focus on maintaining the importance of Samoan cultural identity and preparing children to be culturally secure. Children are fully immersed in their Samoan language and culture and enjoy a sense of belonging at the Aoga. They enjoy each other’s company and are well supported by teachers to be socially competent. Children make choices to play and explore in groups or as individuals and move freely between the indoor and outdoor environments. Children benefit from a culturally rich environment that promotes confidence to be a capable Samoan learner. The cultural values of the Samoan ‘aiga’ enrich children’s sense of identity and they participate enthusiastically in lotu, pese and aoga routines.

Children enrolling in Richmond Rd School benefit from a process that helps to ensure a positive transition into the school’s Samoan bilingual unit. Regular visits to the school and visits from the primary teacher provide support for children and their families. Teachers participate with parents in the school’s interviewing process and help share relevant information with the school about the child.

Teachers at the aoga know their children and their community well. They model competency in the Samoan culture and promote learning in the Samoan language. Teachers ensure that there is a calm and unhurried atmosphere within an environment where the aiga is responsible for the child. Their modelling of caring and supportive relationships benefits the children in their care and their aiga.

The ‘key’ teacher concept has contributed to the success of the aoga’s ‘transition’ process. Teachers maintain close relationships with a group of children that they work with, and monitor their progress and development.

Parents are central to the life of the aoga and are involved in the management of centre operations. Parents’ aspirations and values are promoted. They and aiga are consulted and have opportunities to contribute to self review.

The programme is guided by children’s interests. Teachers plan appropriate activities and support the curriculum with relevant resources including computers for the older children. Teachers’ reflections inform further planning and resources. Resources include stories in the Samoan language that are made to support children’s learning. These stories are available for parents and other centres to purchase. Parents are well informed about the programme and their children’s learning through assessment portfolios and wall displays.

There is a clear understanding of the importance and value of meaningful self review. Managers, parents and teachers focus on making changes as a result of self review. Self review is ongoing and responsive to identified priorities.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and ERO agree that the aoga could review the aoga’s bicultural curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated 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 A'oga Fa'a Samoa Incorporated will be in four years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

25 October 2013

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


Ponsonby, 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 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32 Girls 22

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

25 October 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2010


Education Review

March 2007


Education Review

October 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.