Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS PN - 13/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS PN

How well placed is Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS PN 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.


Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS in Palmerston North, is part of the Congregational Church of Samoa (EFKS) community. It is a longstanding service that provides early childhood education based on Christian beliefs in a Samoan cultural context. The aoga is governed by a management committee that includes church, staff and parent representatives. It offers a van pick-up service and caters for up to 40 children over the age of two years in three age-group rooms. Adjacent facilities cater for infants and toddlers, and for older children in after-school programmes.

The aoga philosophy is depicted in a fale framework and is underpinned by gagana and aganu'u Samoa. It emphasises the core value of respect, the importance of relationships with families, and the importance of the care and protection of children. Teachers value community aspirations and promote children's learning in an atmosphere of trust.

The supervisor and three other staff are registered teachers. Another teacher has early childhood qualifications, and other staff are currently working towards early childhood qualifications. Teaching staff are supported by an administrator.

ERO's 2013 report noted that since the 2010 ERO review positive progress had been made in strategic planning, self review and the learning programme provided for children. ERO also noted that managers were focused on continual improvement. Next steps included strengthening self review, particularly in relation to extending and challenging children's learning.

The Review Findings

Teachers' practices and programmes for children reflect the aoga philosophy well. Relationships with families and the community are responsive and supportive, and teachers know children very well. Children are familiar with routines and expectations, and teachers promote their skills in self-management and social competence. Children have a good sense of belonging and community.

Gagana Samoa is highly valued and used most of the time by staff. Children's use of gagana is especially visible at group gatherings and through music and performance. Parents are also keen to increase their knowledge of gagana Samoa.

Teachers support children's language development very well. They encourage them to join conversations and respect their ideas. They also include basic kupu Māori in the programme.

Children have good access to well defined areas of play and are able to make choices about where they play. They are confident and respond positively to teachers' expectations that they will play cooperatively and share resources. Teachers are aware of the importance of the centre environment in supporting children's learning.

Programme planning focuses on children's individual interests and links well to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It celebrates a variety of cultural events. Teachers foster children's understanding about healthy food, promote literacy learning and support children's understanding about maths concepts. Individual children's portfolios record their learning experiences and development.

Teachers have begun to develop self-review practices to help them improve programmes for children. It would be worthwhile now to establish clearer shared understandings about good practice for supporting children's transitions into the aoga and on to school.

Opportunities for professional development help teachers to feel more confident in their capability, to continually improve their practice and to develop leadership skills. Increasing shared leadership opportunities should help to develop a more professional culture in the aoga.

The committee has a commitment to high quality provision for children. Good systems and communication processes are in place to support aoga operations, but managers and teachers should be more vigilant in ensuring that health and safety systems are implemented as required. Better quality self review and reporting would assure the committee that legal requirements are being met and that provision for children's learning is of the good quality that they expect.

Key Next Steps

Managers agree that key next steps to support ongoing development include:

  • strengthening assessment, programme planning and evaluation by focusing more on dispositional and complex learning and clearly identifying children's learning outcomes

  • identifying more explicitly, the role of environments in fostering complex, independent learning

  • aligning strategic and annual plans with the aoga vision and philosophy

  • implementing more robust internal evaluation that includes a review of committee roles and responsibilities, as well as teachers' appraisal and critical reflection on the impact of their teaching practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS PN 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.

To improve current practice, managers should review and amend health and safety policies to ensure they meet legal requirements, including:

  • those specified in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • records of accidents and emergency evacuation drills

  • risk assessment and management for excursions

  • police vetting of all adults who work with children in the aoga.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS PN will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 October 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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20 Boys 19

Ethnic composition



other Pacific




Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 at time of review

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

13 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Supplementary Review

April 2010

Supplementary Review

May 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 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.