Fa'amasani Aoga Amata - 15/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Fa’amasani Aoga Amata in Massey Auckland is becoming better placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Fa’amasani Aoga Amata is a Samoan centre providing culturally appropriate early childhood experiences for children aged from three months to five years. The aoga is part of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, in Massey, Auckland. A new board of trustees was established in 2011 as a separate body from the church trust. Formalising a memorandum of understanding with the church’s trust board would enable the particular roles of each board to be distinguished and clarified. The new board oversees the governance and management of the aoga amata.

Under the guidance of an external advisor, the board of trustees has established clear governance and management roles. Improvements made to the management systems provide support for managers and teachers.

Trustees and staff have addressed recommendations for improvement identified in the 2009 ERO report. All the teachers are now qualified and registered. The centre recently received Ministry of Education approval to be licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

Extensive professional development of teachers and trustees is having a positive impact on children’s learning and behaviour. The dedicated licensee leads the board well. The trustees, aoga managers and teachers are committed to continuous improvement of the centre.

The Review Findings

Children have a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing in the aoga. They engage happily in activities and converse enthusiastically with adults. They are friendly to visitors and play well with their peers. Teachers provide a flexible programme that is in tune with infants’ needs. Good learning experiences are provided for infants, who are encouraged to explore the centre environment.

The environment is well resourced and inviting, promoting a strong sense of children’s identity, culture and language. Children settle easily into the centre, are familiar with routines, and participate actively in the learning programme.

Gagana and aganu’u Samoa are embedded in the curriculum. The programme is flexible and is culturally appropriate. Samoan ways of being, thinking, and behaving are modelled by skilful teachers. Children respond confidently to teachers in gagana Samoa. Children also learn te reo Māori and sing Māori waiata.

Teachers are respectful to children. They have positive relationships with parents, aiga and each other. Teachers are working with an external provider to improve the ways in which they assess children’s learning. They use Te Whariki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, to guide the learning programme. Regular meetings assist teachers to develop curriculum planning and assessment practices.

Aoga managers and teachers should seek external advice on how to develop robust self-review processes to strengthen the learning programme. Managers and staff agree that self review could focus on:

  • clearly documenting children’s learning
  • developing a more complex child-initiated programme
  • evaluating children’s progress and identifying further learning opportunities.

In order to strengthen governance and management practices in the aoga amata, including self review, trustees agree that they should:

  • review the financial viability of the aoga
  • develop an effective strategic plan that links to an annual plan and monitor progress towards implementation
  • support managers to improve their leadership and management skills
  • ensure that policies and procedures reflect and guide current practice
  • develop clear systems for the managers to report on aoga developments and their impact on outcomes for children.

Staff performance appraisal is effective and promotes positive outcomes for children. Aoga managers now need to formally document and monitor the appraisal process.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fa'amasani Aoga Amata 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

15 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 21

Girls 9

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

15 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

November 2008

June 2005

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.