Fetu-I-Sasa'e Aoga Amata - 26/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Fetu-I-Sasa'e Aoga Amata

How well placed is Fetu-I-Sasa'e Aoga Amata to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Fetu-I-Sasa'e Aoga Amata is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Fetu-I-Sasa'e Aoga Amata is a well-established full immersion Samoan service that provides full-day care for up to 38 children from birth to school age. The children mostly play as one group with separate spaces available for different age groups as needed. The philosophy emphasises Tai'ala a la o le Gagana Samoa (The Samoan Guidelines) and Christian values to promote children's sense of identity and belonging.

The centre is governed by the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa. A committee made up of church members, parents and staff manage the aoga. An experienced centre manager leads a teaching team of four teachers.

The 2016 ERO report outlined strengths in the programme provided for children, including; children with a sense of belonging in the aoga, opportunities for younger children to play with older children, and opportunities for children to show leadership within the centre. The report noted the need for teacher appraisal processes to be strengthened. This area has been addressed.

Fetu-I-Sasa'e Aoga Amata is a member of the Te Puke Taramainuku Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning, made up of several schools and early learning centres in the local area.

The Review Findings

The learning environment reflects the aoga philosophy. Children are confident in their language and culture. They play in spacious and very well resourced indoor and outdoor learning areas. Children enjoy good access to a wide range of equipment and have many opportunities to make choices about their play. Teachers engage children in caring interactions that promote children's wellbeing and foster their sense of belonging. Children are very settled and comfortable in the aoga environment and play well with and alongside each other.

Children have extended periods of mixed-age group play, and opportunities for tuakana/teina learning. They sustain their interest in play and move freely between indoor and outdoor learning spaces.

The curriculum and learning programmes align with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Gagana Samoa. Children's language, culture and identity is celebrated and strongly enacted within the centre's routines and curriculum. The bilingual teaching team value children's conversations and build their Samoan vocabulary.

Teachers have a good understanding of planning, assessment and evaluation. Children's learning stories are written in Samoan and provide a useful record of their participation, development and progress in the programme. Teachers now need to increase their focus on children's individual strengths and dispositions in programme planning and assessment.

Teachers are attentive and responsive to the needs and preferences of children aged under two years. Children experience respectful, nurturing care from teachers in a well-resourced environment that encourages their exploration.

Children's transitions into the centre and onto school are well managed. Many children transition into bilingual classrooms at two local schools.

The centre is very welcoming to parents. Leaders and teachers value strong relationships with parents. Learning partnerships are culturally responsive. Regular talanoa allows teachers to discuss and share children's learning programmes.

The teaching team is led very well by the centre manager. Strong professional relationships and collaboration are evident. The management committee continues to place priority on supporting staff to gain additional teaching qualifications and providing teachers with professional learning opportunities to enhance learning outcomes for children.

A new model and process for internal evaluation is being used to inquire into teaching practices and improve outcomes for children. Long-term and annual planning processes guide centre operations. The management committee now need to implement more effective ways to be assured that health and safety practices and procedures are robust and meet legislative and licensing requirements.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that the priorities for improvement are:

  • continuing to support teachers to deepen their understanding of and plan for individual children's dispositions

  • the management committee ensuring closer monitoring of health and safety systems and practices and that all policies, procedures and practices comply with current regulations and legislation

  • providing additional resourcing and time for the centre manager and administrator to better promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

ERO has requested from the service provider an action plan that shows how the key next steps will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates against the plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fetu-I-Sasa'e 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.

Since the onsite visit, the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has developed sleep monitoring records and medication procedures that meet licensing requirements.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

26 June 2020

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


Flat Bush, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 12

Boys 11

Ethnic composition



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

February 2020

Date of this report

26 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2016

Education Review

December 2013

Supplementary Review

August 2009

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.