PIPC A'oga Amata Newtown - 22/10/2015

1. Evaluation of PIPC A'oga Amata Newtown

How well placed is PIPC A'oga Amata Newtown 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.


PIPC A’oga Amata Newtown is a Samoan language early childhood centre that is associated with the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church in Newtown, Wellington. The aoga provides full day education and care for up to 22 children. While the majority of children enrolled are Samoan, the aoga also welcomes children from other backgrounds.

The aoga’s philosophy places an emphasis on providing a learning programme based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and promoting gagana Samoa and fa’a Samoa.

The head teacher, who was appointed in 2015, is one of three qualified teachers at the aoga. Teachers and managers have participated in professional support to develop the programme for children and to improve management practices.

The aoga is governed by a management committee that includes parent and church representatives.

ERO’s 2013 report identified extending children’s learning and establishing self review as areas for development. Provision for children’s learning and development was also in need of improvement. The aoga has made good progress in these areas.

The Review Findings

PIPC A’oga Amata Newtown has improved the quality of the programme and the effectiveness of centre management. Teachers and managers are committed to embedding and building on these practices to promote children’s learning and wellbeing.

Teachers are beginning to plan a more responsive and child centred programme with a focus on developing children’s learning based on their interests and skills. They provide a variety of opportunities for children to learn through their play. Children enjoy cooperative and imaginative play. Children’s self management and spoken language are encouraged and they have access to a range of resources and the outdoor learning environment.

Children are keen to learn and willing to engage. They enjoy positive and respectful relationships and have a strong sense of belonging in the aoga. Teacher's model Samoan language and children engage in pese Samoa. Teachers are continuing to explore ways to promote children’s use of gagana Samoa including support for learning at home.

The aoga provides an inclusive and supportive environment for children. Children under two participate in play with older children. Four year old children participate in a structured transition to school programme that aims to develop children’s learning in a range of contexts.

The aoga’s appraisal process has been reviewed to increase expectations for teacher performance. The head teacher is externally appraised. Teachers have participated in ongoing professional learning and have developed relationships with other centres to share good practice. It would be useful for teachers to continue to participate in professional support to help them evaluate the quality of the programme they provide.

Self review is established in the aoga with the goal of promoting quality learning for children. The aoga’s philosophy and policies have been reviewed to reflect current practice. The aoga has developed a strategic vision that includes action plans and a focus on developing children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

To help children to be more actively engaged as learners, teachers should continue to increase the level of challenge and complexity in the programme. They can further promote children’s thinking and creativity by:

  • continuing to focus on children’s learning outcomes in teachers’ planning and evaluation and in reporting to the management committee
  • continuing to develop teachers’ understanding and use of high quality teaching practices
  • supporting children’s transition to school based on good practice aligned to Te Whāriki, and with an increased focus on learning through play
  • enhancing the outdoor learning environment
  • strengthening self-review processes and strategic planning by including the use of indicators of best practice to evaluate quality.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of PIPC A'oga Amata Newtown 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in PIPC A’oga Amata Newtown. To meet agreed accountabilities the service provider must ensure that all non-registered staff are regularly police vetted.

Education Act 1983, 5.319

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of PIPC A'oga Amata Newtown will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 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


Newtown, Wellington

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 4 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 12

Boys 10

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 2015

Date of this report

22 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013


Education Review

March 2010


Education Review

December 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.