Nafanua Aoga Amata - 13/09/2017

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

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


Nafanua Aoga Amata is a full immersion Samoan language Aoga Amata located in Avondale, Auckland. This all-day service promotes Gagana Samoa and Aganu'u Samoa alongside Christian beliefs and values. The centre is licensed for 32 children with up to seven children under 2 years of age. Children are from diverse Pacific backgrounds and most are Samoan.

The service is governed and managed by a management team that works closely with the centre manager and aoga leaders. The long-serving manager provides administration support, and a supervisor leads the team of six teachers. Most of the staff are fluent Samoan speakers and work together to provide education and care in a renovated house owned by the church. There is a separate room for infants that provides a quiet space for them to play.

The aoga's newly defined philosophy from the 'ola model' underpins and informs their practice and programmes for children. The basket/kete of Samoan knowledge is contributing to knowledge building in the aoga. It values and promotes Samoan language, culture and identity strongly and guides teacher interactions and relationships with children and their whānau.

Leaders and staff have made good progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2015 ERO report. They have worked collaboratively with a professional mentor to establish a clearer focus on internal evaluation and document a strategic vision, meaningful strategic direction and relevant goals. They continue to work together to build teacher effectiveness and practice.

The Review Findings

Children are playful and happy in the aoga. They know routines, and are confident in their identity and culture. They learn using te reo Māori, Samoan and English, and some are confident to use their home languages with each other and with teachers. Having fun and using humour are cultural values that permit children to relate well with each other.

A sense of belonging among children and adults is a notable aspect in the aoga, where children enjoy mixed-age play. Tuakana/teina relationships allow older and younger children to learn from and support each other. Sensitivity towards younger children by the older children is demonstrated in both indoor and outdoor play areas.

The indoor environment provides rich evidence of literacy, art, music and Samoan culture and history. Children have access to a variety of learning and play activities. They especially enjoy family play, music and dance. Children have access to their learning portfolios and their work is celebrated and displayed with pride.

Teachers' programme planning shows how the cultural practice of 'talanoa' guides their planning discussions and decisions. A professional mentor has worked alongside teachers to provide relevant professional learning to increase teachers' understanding of curriculum planning. As a result, programme planning is responsive to children's interests and needs. Teachers continue to strengthen planning practices in order to extend children's learning.

Parents are invited to contribute to the programme, and their aspirations are valued. Children's home languages are encouraged. Their learning is well documented and shared with parents in children's learning portfolios.

The aoga's leaders have worked together to redefine its vision and strategic direction. Long-term and short-term strategic planning continues to be a development priority focus. Refining these plans will help the management team to monitor and measure progress more clearly. There is an increased understanding and use of internal evaluation. Staff and management need to strengthen the internal evaluation process so that relevant and appropriate changes contribute to positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The aoga leaders have appropriately identified the need to continue developing more effective and appropriate ways of documenting teachers' programme planning and internal evaluation processes and outcomes.

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.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

In order to improve current practices the service provider should strengthen the documentation that supports risk management practices for excursions.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Nafanua Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

13 September 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


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 16 Girls 10

Ethnic composition



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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

13 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

November 2011

Supplementary Review

August 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.