Mata'aga A'oga Amata - 06/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Mata'aga A'oga Amata

How well placed is Mata'aga A'oga 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.


Mata'aga A'oga Amata provides early childhood education and promotes Christian values through a full immersion Samoan context. Children continue to benefit from teachers' consistent focus on learning through Samoan language and culture.

The aoga is owned and governed by a charitable trust board under the Grey Lynn Congregational Christian Church of Samoa. The governance and management committee consists of elected church members. It is chaired by the church minister, and his wife holds an honorary role as aoga principal.

The board employs five registered teachers. The centre manager and supervisor hold full teaching certification and are responsible for the day-to-day management of the aoga. Staff are supported by an administrator and cook.

The 2013 ERO review identified further work was needed to improve the quality of internal evaluation, programme planning and assessment for individual children. Some progress has been made in these areas. This review finds that the management committee and staff need to further improve internal evaluation that leads to sustained improvement across all aspects of operations.

The Review Findings

Children's identity is affirmed through their language and culture. They confidently initiate conversations in Samoan language with each other and with adults. Children are settled, engage in sustained play and appear trusting of adults. They know routines well and are appropriately supported to develop self-management skills. Older children receive good support to transition to school and enrich their Samoan language skills.

The programme is consistent with the aoga philosophy and aspects of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum through the teaching of Christian values, fa'a Samoa and aganu'u Samoa. The programme provides a balance of teacher and child-led experiences supporting children's holistic development. Teachers' interactions with children are respectful, foster rich discussion and provide opportunities for children to develop questioning skills.

Teachers are beginning to develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation. Recent reviews have strengthened children's learning through exploration and improved systems to document learning more regularly. Teachers should access professional development to further enhance programme planning and assessment for individual children, particularly for infants and toddlers. This should also include rewriting the bicultural strand in the documented curriculum so that it reflects what teachers currently promote in the environment and the daily programme.

Leaders have established a culture where children are valued for who they are and what they bring with them to the aoga. Staff model relationships of trust and respect and are welcoming of all children and their families.

Trustees should promote ongoing improvement through internal evaluation. The management committee monitors finances through regular reporting and discussion between the aoga manager, committee and parents. In order to maintain effective centre operations, regular meetings by the committee should be continued.

Key Next Steps

The management committee and leaders should work together to document a robust internal evaluation process. They should ensure that systems of accountability and shared decision making is practised across all levels of the aoga. This should include implementing:

  • purposeful induction and training for trustees

  • detailed strategic and annual planning

  • monitoring and reporting of targeted equity funding

  • ongoing policy and development review

  • annual appraisals for all staff supported by relevant programmes of professional development

  • ongoing support for teachers who are working towards completing full teacher certification.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mata'aga A'oga 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 identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management. To meet requirements the service management committee should develop and implement:

  • a system of regular appraisal for all staff and managers

  • a formalised process of internal evaluation

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA6, 7.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Mata'aga A'oga Amata will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

6 March 2017 

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 


Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

22 children, including up to 6 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 12 Girls 10

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


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

6 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Supplementary Review

October 2007

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.