Fa'amasani Aoga Amata - 17/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Fa'amasani Aoga Amata

How well placed is Fa'amasani Aoga Amata 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.


Fa'amasani Aoga Amata provides education and care for children aged from 3 months to five years. The centre's philosophy promotes Christian values and gagana and aganu'u Samoa, Samoan language and culture. The centre is part of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa and is situated within the church grounds. The board of trustees includes a church member, centre management representatives, a parent and a teacher. Three of the five teaching staff are registered early childhood teachers.

ERO's 2013 report noted that programmes were responsive and flexible, that gagana and aganu'u Samoa were embedded in the curriculum, and that children had a good sense of belonging and cultural wellbeing. ERO recommended improvements in strategic planning, leadership, self review, and programme planning and implementation.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy is evident throughout the centre. There is a strong focus on developing the Samoan language and culture and helping children to maintain their sense of identity, wellbeing and belonging. 

Staff have created a friendly, nurturing environment where children and their families are welcomed and respected. Relationships between teachers, children and families are genuine, positive and respectful. Teachers maintain ongoing connections with the church and local community that support children's smooth transition to school.

The inclusive environment acknowledges children's families and contributes to their sense of belonging. The learning programme helps children to quickly become familiar with the setting and helps them to build their confidence. A supportive, caring social atmosphere enables children to enjoy focused engagement in the activities that they choose.

Teachers work well as a team. They have developed a responsive curriculum that focuses on children's interests and skills and has good links with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. There is a consistent focus on building children's oral language development and their appreciation of languages. Children hear and learn to use both gagana Samoa and basic te reo Māori.

Infants and toddlers are well supported in their play and have good opportunities to join older children in their activities. There are ongoing opportunities for children to explore and extend their creative skills.

Teachers acknowledge and build on children's interests and skilfully include literacy and numeracy experiences as children play in both the indoor and outdoor learning areas. Teachers promote positive attitudes to healthy eating and there are good opportunities for physical activity. Teachers continue to consider ways to strengthen partnerships with parents to support children's learning.

Key Next Steps

To sustain progress towards effective teaching strategies and high quality learning programmes for children, teachers should:

  • continue to develop and implement a child-centred curriculum
  • consider ways to increase opportunities for children to develop problem solving, exploration and critical thinking skills to better support children as they prepare to transition to school

To establish more robust internal evaluation practices and to guide the centre's ongoing improvement, managers and teachers should:

  • identify a clear view of what works well for children and centre operations
  • review and rationalise the centres policies and procedures and ensure that current legal requirements are met
  • ensure that financial management and long-term planning decisions, prioritise and focus on children's education and care, align with annual plans and are regularly reviewed.

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.

In order to improve current practices, managers should ensure that the provision for children's health and safety is regularly monitored.

ERO identified two areas of non-compliance. In order to address these, managers must ensure that:

  • processes for teachers' performance appraisal meet the requirements of the New Zealand Education Council
  • ·          policies and procedures, particularly relating to police vetting, are adapted to meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, HS31, GMA7.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Fa'amasani Aoga Amata will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 August 2016 

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 


Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      14
Girls       14

Ethnic composition



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

April 2016

Date of this report

17 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

April 2013

Supplementary Review

December 2009

Education Review

November 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 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.