Faavae Mautu Aoga Amata - 29/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Fa'avae Mautu Aoga Amata

How well placed is Fa'avae Mautu Aoga Amata to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Fa'avae Mautu Aoga Amata is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.


Fa'avae Mautua Aoga Amata opened in 1994 and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary milestone. The service is licensed for 52 children, including eight aged under two years. Most children are of Samoan heritage.

The aoga is in a large purpose-built centre located within the grounds of May Road School. The centre has two separate learning areas for children aged under three years of age and over three years. These learning areas are named after islands in Samoa.

The centre philosophy and vision focus on promoting Christian values and Samoan language and culture. "O fanauiti uma i tu ma aga fa'a Kelisiano ma aga fa'a Samoa" underpins practices in the centre. Learning environments and teachers' practice are influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophy.

The centre manager and head teacher lead a team of five qualified teachers. The teaching team consists of nine full-time and two part-time teachers. They participate in regular external and internal professional learning. Managers and teachers have participated in professional learning in governance, teaching and internal evaluation. They have also presented professional learning in Samoa.

The supervisor, manager and most staff have a long association with the centre. Teachers reflect the cultural diversity of the community. Many are fluent in gagana Samoa. A management committee consisting of parents and staff provide governance support for the centre.

The 2015 ERO report recommended the centre continue to use self review to embed effective practice. Another key step was to develop governance, management and strategic planning processes. Teachers and managers have responded well to those recommendations.

The Review Findings

Children are recognised as capable and confident individuals. They experience a rich, child-centred programme based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children engage in long, sustained periods of play that promote their imagination and confidence. The centre's responsive programme nurtures a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing for children. Children are settled and enjoy their relationships with their peers and teachers.

Children and their aiga are warmly welcomed into the centre. Learning environments are attractive and homely. They are designed to challenge children's learning experiences. Activities provided stimulate and provoke meaningful learning through choice, wonder and curiosity in play.

Children participate in an inclusive programme that promotes and celebrates gagana Samoa and aganu'u Samoa. Teachers integrate tikanga Māori by using te reo Māori and waiata. They also celebrate cultural events such as Matariki, festivals and language weeks.

Children develop confidence as learners. Teachers skilfully provide a programme for children that integrates literacy, numeracy, science and the arts. Excursions enhance the programme and opportunities for music and movement are spontaneous and promoted well.

Children's social and emotional competence is well supported through collaborative and respectful relationships. Children engage in genuine conversations with adults. They play happily in mixed-play age groups. Most of the children transition easily and settle well into the Samoan bilingual unit, Lumana'I Manuia mo a Taeoa, at the local school.

Infants' needs are met well by teachers' primary caregiving approaches. Toddlers access well-resourced areas that provide good opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Children's learning journeys are provided in visually attractive portfolios that are informative and celebrate their successes. Parents are involved as partners in their children's learning and are well informed of the aoga's range of activities to participate in and support their children's learning.

Teachers use internal evaluation processes to regularly improve aspects of the programme. This promotes ongoing development to centre operations and supports growth in teacher capability. Teachers are involved in professional networks and are highly committed to the children in their care. Ongoing refinement of the centre's strategic planning and teachers' appraisal processes have also supported teacher and centre development.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers should continue to:

  • document the focus and extension of children's learning dispositions over time

  • promote children's use of conversational gagana Samoa

  • use the indicators of effective practice to further develop a cycle of evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fa'avae 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

29 November 2019

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

Girls 27 Boys 25

Ethnic composition




other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

29 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 205

Education Review

February 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.