Faavae Mautu Aoga Amata - 26/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Faavae Mautu Aoga Amata

How well placed is Faavae Mautu 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.


Faavae Mautu Aoga Amata is a community-based service located in Mt Roskill, Auckland. This service provides a bilingual setting that emphasises gagana Samoa (Samoan language), aganu’u Samoa (Samoan culture) and a Christian perspective. The service caters for children from birth to school age. Children from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds attend for all-day care and education.

The service is governed by the Faavae Mautu Aoga Amata Incorporated Society Board. The founder and centre manager continues to lead a competent teaching team who reflect the ethnic diversity of the centre’s community. The aoga employs qualified teachers who promote Samoan language and culture.

The centre manager is very experienced and has led the development of the aoga's vision over many years. She sets high expectations for herself and staff and ensures the aoga maintain strong core values and cultural identity. She works closely with a team of leaders that includes a supervisor, team leaders and a professional mentor to run the daily operations of the centre.

The board and staff have made very good progress in addressing the recommendations from the 2012 ERO report. This progress includes developing programme planning and assessment. Staff have used self review, including community consultation, to guide significant improvements to the outdoor environment so it reflects the Samoan heritage of the children and their families.

The Review Findings

The aoga is governed by an experienced board that monitors the aoga’s strategic direction. The board, manager and staff have a strong, shared understanding about the aoga's purpose.

Children engage well in the programme and play well independently and in small groups. They enjoy interacting with teachers who support them in their play. Children are confident in the learning environment and support each other to learn through play.

Children competently use gagana Samoa in their play. They benefit from environments that promote their culture, language and identity. This reinforces a sense of belonging for children and their families in the centre.

The aoga's curriculum is well organised and offers a good range of learning opportunities for children. The importance of literacy, mathematics, science, music and exploration are key focuses. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Reggio Emilia approaches of learning are well promoted in the programme. Teachers plan for individual children’s development and provide learning experiences that encourage children to explore through play. They use good questioning to extend children’s thinking and learning.

Teachers relate well with children and their families. They work enthusiastically as a collaborative team. They continually model high quality gagana Samoa for children. Teachers who are fluent speakers coach others to speak more proficiently in Samoan.

Parents are welcomed warmly into the aoga. They engage in the programme and give feedback in a variety of ways to teachers and staff. Teachers adapt the programme in response to parents’ aspirations and values. Parents are supported to help their children's progress and transition through the centre and to school.

Curriculum planning, assessment and evaluation are clearly documented for teachers, children and parents to view. Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children's emerging interests and develop plans to extend these interests. Assessment portfolios show children’s learning and progress.

The aoga prides itself in promoting a culture of learning. Professional learning is resulting in teachers’ shared understandings of effective teaching practice. An experienced educator works with the centre manager to develop staff capability. Teachers regularly evaluate and discuss their practice and this often leads to improving outcomes for children. Very good processes for appraising teachers’ performance support teachers to achieve their personal and professional goals. Leaders plan to use Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to further develop bicultural practices.

Well documented and systematic self-review processes enable teachers to make meaningful improvements. With feedback from parents, and a culture of reviewing their practice, they have strengthened the curriculum programme offered to children and their families.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and staff will continue to use the aoga’s robust self-review processes to embed effective practice and to further develop governance, management and strategic planning systems.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Faavae Mautu 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Faavae Mautu Aoga Amata will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

26 June 2015

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


Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

52 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 24

Ethnic composition




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

June 2015

Date of this report

26 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012


Education Review

November 2008


Education Review

August 2003

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.