Mapusaga Aoga Amata - 08/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Mapusaga Aoga Amata

How well placed is Mapusaga Aoga Amata to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Mapusaga Aoga Amata requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Mapusaga Aoga Amata (MAA) is a total immersion Samoan service operating under the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa/Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa (EFKS). It is in Woolston, Christchurch within the EFKS grounds. It provides education and care for children from birth to school age. All of the children at MAA are of Samoan heritage.

The centre is governed by a management committee (the 'board') which includes the centre staff and church. The board make strategic decisions for the service. A manager oversees the daily operations of the centre and also works within the programme. Almost all of the staff are qualified and registered early childhood teachers, including the supervisor and manager.

The Samoan language (gagana), culture (aganu'u) and values form the basis of the philosophy. Teaching practices are guided by the centre's Fale Tele model. The model has recently been unpacked by the staff to align to and include the principles within Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and includes Māori concepts. Six of the seven staff members are Samoan fluent speakers.

The Review Findings

Children are immersed in a welcoming gagana and aganu'u Samoa context. They participate enthusiastically in cultural aspects of the programme. Some children take leadership roles in lotu (mat-time) and can use gagana Samoa, role-modelled by their teachers, in their interactions with adults. Children are also familiar with waiata and karakia.

Children learn in a positive environment. They are in mixed-aged groups which provides opportunities to develop tuakana/teina (where older children help and support younger children) and ako (where the learner is the teacher and the teacher is the learner). Being with older children helps the younger children to develop their confidence to take risks and explore their environment. Teachers have reciprocal, trusting and respectful relationships with children, their parents and aiga (whānau). Children are encouraged to learn empathy and compassion.

Teachers provide a localised curriculum based on the Fale Tele model, Te Whāriki principles and key dispositions. These guide teaching and learning at MAA. They meet regularly and develop plans that guide the centre-wide programme, and what resources and expenses are needed.

The 2016 ERO report identified several areas for further development and two areas that did not meet regulatory requirements. While there has been some progress made regarding strategic direction and philosophy, this progress has not been sustained to ensure that the quality of appraisal and internal evaluation practices undertakes a process of continuous improvement.

Key Next Steps

  • It is important that leaders ensure that staff meetings, programme plans, the Fale Tele model and teaching practice are sustained and embedded, to strengthen learning and wellbeing outcomes for all children.

  • The Fale Tele concept should be included in the centre's long and short-term planning, policies and procedures as expectations for best practice. This should allow leaders and teachers to monitor this approach, develop accountability against expectations, and to regularly review and report to the board on its effectiveness in improving outcomes for children.

  • Assessment, planning and evaluation practices need improving. Teachers need to show the intended learning in curriculum planning and then evaluate how well the planned experiences and strategies have supported children's learning.

  • Teachers need to be supported to build on their professional knowledge and practice, and curriculum and subject content knowledge. This would support teachers to be consistently competent and confident to use the skills necessary to provide high quality early childhood education.

  • The board and leaders need to ensure a meaningful appraisal process is implemented to lift teaching practice and meets the requirements of the New Zealand Teaching Council and high-quality practices.

  • It is timely for the management committee, and leaders to be more proactive in planning future leadership opportunities for staff. Developing leadership capability is a priority to ensure the day-to-day operations (including financial accountability, updating policies and procedures) of the centre meet licencing and legislative requirements. Consideration should also be given to creating a leadership role to support teachers in their practice and to make clearer the roles and responsibilities of the centre manager.

  • Implementing a more formal, robust process of internal evaluation across all aspects of centre operations should help identify what is working and what needs to be improved on. Ongoing monitoring and reporting of progress towards the goals, vision and valued learning outcomes will ensure that the centre is accountable to its families, board, church and community.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mapusaga 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service related to effective governance and management systems and processes. These include:

  • personnel management, annual planning, and internal evaluation

  • an appraisal process that meets the requirements of the New Zealand Teaching Council

  • police vetting for all staff as required by the Children's Act 2014

  • ensuring policies and procedures align with current legislation and practice

  • staff maintaining regular professional development about current theory and best practice.

Regulation 47(1)(a)(d), 43 (1)(a)(iii), 6MA7, 6MA7A, 6MA3, C4 Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

8 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

29 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 9

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

August 2019

Date of this report

8 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2016

Education Review

April 2012

Supplementary Review

May 2010

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.