Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata - 26/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata

How well placed is Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga 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.


Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata operates in association with the Mangere West Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Mangere. It operates from purpose built premises on the church grounds. It provides education and care, in an immersion Samoan context for up 50 children, including a maximum of ten under two years. All of the five teachers are qualified and two are fully registered. The teachers are supported by a kitchen coordinator and parent helper. A centre manager was appointed in 2015. The centre manager takes a significant role in the governance of the centre and works closely with the church board on strategic priorities.

Successive ERO reports have commented on the positive and affirming relationships among teachers, children and families. All of the children attending the centre have Samoan heritage. Most of the children are from the local community. Samoan language and cultural values, and Christian beliefs continue to be the foundation of the centre philosophy.

Since the 2014 ERO review, centre leaders and staff have addressed areas of concern and non-compliance related to self review and curriculum which was identified by ERO. They have engaged in targeted professional learning and development that has resulted in significant improvements. Teachers are committed to ongoing improvement and as a team, are developing consistent and cohesive practices.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers benefit from nurturing individualised care. The teachers are attentive and caring. They consistently talk and sing to children in Samoan and encourage them to respond. There is a calm gentle tone in the centre. Toddlers are able to explore and engage in sensory activities. Young children have good opportunities to learn alongside siblings and older peers, and to spend time in an inviting, well-resourced specific space. They make choices and have their needs for security and independence responded to positively.

Teachers provide a culturally rich and responsive curriculum. Samoan language culture and identity as well as Christian beliefs are embedded in the programme and fostered during group sessions. Teachers have a good knowledge of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Gagana Samoa. They affirm and enrich children’s knowledge and use of the Samoan language and naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori.

Group planning that promotes Samoan knowledge and ways of learning and is responsive to children’s ideas is well established. Children’s assessment portfolios are well presented. These provide a very good record of centre activities and group learning experiences. Children have fun as they learn through play. They have a strong sense of belonging and participate in the programme with eagerness and confidence. Teachers could reflect on ways to build on children’s individual interests, strengths and dispositions.

Children are purposefully engaged and happy. They are socially competent and have connections with their community. Warm respectful relationships between children and adults are evident. Teachers have affirming and supportive interactions with children and use positive guidance strategies. They provide good support for play. A future focus for teachers now is to look for ways to increase challenge and complexity in play and learning particularly for older children.

Children’s learning is fostered through good periods of uninterrupted play and independent choice of play areas and activities. The welcoming and vibrant learning environment reflects Samoan identity and culture, and acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua. Displays show how children’s creativity and curiosity is fostered in cultural and play based experiences as well as how they engage with mathematics, literacy, science and technology. Children’s physical development is promoted by easy access to the outside area that is set up with a variety of interesting activities.

Centre leaders have accessed external professional support and are continuing to improve governance practices. The centre philosophy is shared and evident across all centre operations and teaching practices. The management board is supportive of the centre and has developed a sound policy framework. There is a comprehensive strategic and annual plan to guide centre development and includes effective systems to monitor health and safety.

Self review is well established and is focused on improvement. Centre leaders promote relationships based on respect, trust and reciprocity. There is a strong sense of partnership with the parents and church community. Teachers work collaboratively, engage in professional reflection and in discussion that includes current trends and cross cultural research.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that teachers could:

  • focus on supporting and planning for individual children's interests and strengths

  • extend the complexity and challenge in children’s play

  • review the effectiveness of the transition to school programme for older children.

The board and centre leaders should continue to:

  • develop robust self-review processes to evaluate outcomes for children and teaching effectiveness

  • increase their understanding of their management and leadership roles

  • increase opportunities for teachers to build leadership capacity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Mataniu Feagai Ma Le Ata Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

26 September 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


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 14, Girls 6

Ethnic composition



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

August 2016

Date of this report

26 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

May 2011

Education Review

March 2008

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.