Nafanua Aoga Amata - 09/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Nafanua Aoga Amata

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Nafanua Aoga Amata requires support to develop the quality of the centre environment, the quality of governance and management systems and practices, including health and safety matters.

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


Nafanua Aoga Amata in Avondale is an early childhood service that caters for children from birth to school age. The service fosters and promotes Gagana and Aganu’u Samoa alongside Christian beliefs and values. A team of six teachers currently provides education and care for 32 children, two of whom are under two years of age. The centre has a separate room for infants and toddlers that provides a quiet space for them to play.

Most children who attend the centre are New Zealand born Samoan and most teachers and staff are fluent Samoan speakers. Nafanua Aoga Amata presently has a waiting list for families who would like their children to attend the centre.

A management committee formed in 2009 operates under Incorporated Society status and continues to govern the aoga. A long serving centre manager provides administrative support and a supervisor leads the teaching team.

ERO’s 2011 report followed two supplementary ERO reviews in 2007 and 2008. The 2011 report affirmed the good work undertaken by the management committee, centre leaders and teachers to improve the quality of provision for children. It also identified areas for development and review that included the need to further strengthen teaching and learning programmes, and improve the outdoor play area for infants and toddlers.

The 2011 ERO report also recommended that managers improve the teacher appraisal system, develop long term strategic planning and introduce systems for self review. In addition the report identified that managers needed to improve a number of health and safety practices.

The Review Findings

Children in the aoga are confident and express their ideas enthusiastically. They are kind to each other, play cooperatively and make good friendships. Older and younger children support each other and they have good opportunities to celebrate each other’s skills and talents. Children interact easily with their teachers and other adults, and have good conversations in both Samoan and English.

The aoga environment is colourful and filled with children’s art work and literacy learning. Teachers ensure that art, literacy and music activities promote Samoan, Māori and other Pacific cultures and languages. They also create interesting wall displays that provide good opportunities for children to revisit their learning.

Children participate in and understand the centre routines. They especially enjoy dramatic play in groups and alone. Teachers provide some opportunities for older children to choose their own activities and self manage their learning. They are beginning to plan programmes that are based on children’s emerging interests.

The supervisor leads teachers in reflecting on the learning programme and developing next steps for learners. Teachers consult parents and find out about the aspirations they have for their children. Parent fono provides a formal outlet for parents to present ideas for further improving the centre and promoting positive outcomes for children.

The management committee meets regularly. This governance group has an annual plan that highlights key goals for centre improvements. Teacher performance appraisals meet the Registered Teacher Criteria requirement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that leaders and teachers require external support to address the following areas for improvement identified in this 2015 ERO report.

Key next steps for teachers include:

  • accessing professional learning opportunities to improve teacher practice and develop a shared understanding of the principles of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum
  • improving the environment and learning programmes for infants and toddlers
  • working alongside children as they play to extend children’s language development and the complexity of their thinking and learning
  • establishing a process to evaluate the impact of learning programmes on promoting positive outcomes for children
  • accessing professional learning

Key next steps for managers include:

  • improving educational resources and the outdoor learning environment for children
  • developing a long term strategic plan to guide the aoga’s vision and future priorities
  • accessing a professional mentor for the centre supervisor to support her leadership role
  • ensuring that the supervisor is appraised annually, and that the current appraisal system for teachers meets the new Education Council requirements and supports teachers to review and improve their own professional practice
  • ensuring that all non-registered teaching staff are police vetted every three years
  • developing a cycle of review for centre policies and procedures, and ensuring that policies are updated as required.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nafanua 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. In order to address this, centre managers must ensure that all non-registered teaching staff are police vetted every three years.

Education Act 1989 sections 319D to 319F

Development Plan Recommendation

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

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Nafanua Aoga Amata will be within two years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

9 October 2015

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


Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

32 children, including up to 7 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 13

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā









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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

9 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011


Supplementary Review

August 2008


Supplementary Review

April 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.