Mata'aga A'oga Amata - 27/09/2013

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 is a small, well established centre that offers early childhood education and care based on Christian values, enriched by Samoan language and culture. It operates alongside the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Grey Lynn. The aoga is managed by a Board who is chaired by the church minister.

The Aoga Amata has four fully qualified teachers, one currently studying and a cook. Since the last ERO review, the new centre manager who has been appointed has had a positive impact on the aoga amata. There have been improvements in annual planning and in the resources and layout of the centre. There is currently a plan to extend the building to provide more space for children and adults.

Teachers continue to work well together and promote the philosophy of immersion in culture through lotu and aganu’u Samoa. They have maintained the good practices noted in the 2010 ERO report and addressed all of the compliance issues identified at that time.

The Review Findings

Children show a good sense of belonging and identity as Samoan learners. They are confident, work well together and use the Samoan language competently to learn and play. Children are familiar with and enjoy their cultural traditions and participate enthusiastically in lotu. Children show care and compassion for each other and respect for adults. Children’s understanding of spirituality is expressed in the Samoan Christian tradition and children’s cultural identity is validated in the programme.

Teachers provide a well organised and resourced environment that supports children’s engagement in play. Weekly and monthly planning guides teachers in providing a broad curriculum. Aspects of literacy, maths and science are integrated in meaningful ways. Children are well supported when preparing for and transitioning to school. Teachers ensure that routines throughout the day are managed well. Infants are able to be part of the larger group as well as have their own individual needs catered for.

Teachers are respectful in their interactions and relationships with children, and actively seek ways to support their play. There are sustained conversations between teachers and children in Samoan. Teachers know children well and the goals that the parents have for their children’s learning. They have established strong partnerships with parents who are involved in many aspects of centre life.

The management committee work effectively to support the centre operations. Regular meetings are recorded and they have established clear systems for accountability. Centre developments are promoted by the Minister to the church community who are kept informed of centre operations. Since ERO’s 2010 report, annual plans have been developed to guide the management team.

There is a strategic direction in place and the philosophy is clearly evident. Teachers and managers have a shared vision and are developing a culture of reflecting on practice. They are reviewing the appraisal system to align it with current best teaching practice. The new manager values and sources opportunities for staff professional learning. The aoga amata is well placed to continue making ongoing improvements.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the managers agree that the following areas for development will contribute to better outcomes for children at the aoga.

Centre management agrees to:

  • support teachers to have a better understanding of how to record the ways that children’s individual interests develop over time
  • improve portfolios so that they become a more useful record of the individual child’s learning journey and parent partnership
  • provide children with more challenging physical activities
  • develop a robust and documented self-review process.

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.

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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

27 September 2013

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 11

Girls 11

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā




Cook Island







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2013

Date of this report

27 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2010


Supplementary Review

October 2007


Supplementary Review

June 2006

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.