Puataunofo Aoga Amata - 15/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Puataunofo Aoga Amata

How well placed is Puataunofo 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.


Puataunofo Aoga Amata is a community-based service located in Ranui in the West of Auckland. This service provides a bilingual setting with a strong emphasis on gagana Samoa (Samoan language) and aganu’u Samoa (Samoan culture), and promote a Christian perspective and values. The service caters for children from birth to school age. Children from a predominantly Samoan cultural background attend for all-day care and education.

The service is governed by the Ranui Youth in Action Trust Board and a management committee consisting of the licensees, the supervisor and an elected parent representative. Since the 2011 ERO review the trust board has employed an experienced and skilled supervisor to lead and manage the centre. The competent teaching team reflect the ethnic diversity of their local community. The aoga supports teachers to study for teaching qualifications. Trustees, staff and parents are committed to promoting the Samoan language and culture.

The supervisor is very experienced and has led the development of areas identified for improvement in the 2011 report. She sets high expectations for herself and staff and ensures the aoga maintains its strong core values and cultural identity.

The spacious outdoor environment is attractive and promotes the values and culture the aoga. Children are encouraged to choose indoor and outdoor activities and enjoy mixed aged play.

The Review Findings

Children are highly engaged in the programme and play well independently and in small groups. They enjoy interacting with adults and express their ideas confidently. Infants and toddlers freely make choices about their play. They are curious, and many enjoy sustained interactions with each other and with the activities. Children demonstrate respectful relationships with each other and with teachers. They proudly reflect their Samoan identity and benefit from a strong sense of belonging to this aoga.

Mixed aged play allows for tuakana-teina relationships to form. Children are constantly interacting with adults and negotiate their play with each other. Through a strong duty of care, teachers make themselves available for children. Children are surrounded with displays that promote their culture, language and identity.

Teachers at the aoga are fluent in Gagana Samoa and actively model this for children. They have established an atmosphere that promotes family values, based on Aganu’u Samoa cultural and Christian perspectives. They know the children and the families well and work very well together as a team. They have built well established relationships and support each other to provide a quality programme for children.

Puataunofo is an aoga of choice for parents. There is a high turnout at monthly fono from parents who are committed to building strong partnerships with the aoga and promote its vision and values. Parents relate well to each other due to being part of the larger church network. Their aspirations for children’s learning are highly evident in documented written feedback.

The centre’s curriculum is becoming more responsive to children’s emerging interests. It is documented and evaluated by staff. Parents are invited to contribute to the programme and their input is celebrated and valued. Teachers should now embed effective ways to respond to ongoing children’s emerging interests. They could also benefit from developing ongoing inquiry and reflections about their practice.

The aoga’s trust board and management committee provide very good governance for the aoga. Their vision is based on their collective shared cultural values underpinned by the aoga’s philosophy. Samoan values and Christian beliefs provide a sense of shared purpose and underpin all relationships between stakeholders.

The aoga is very well led by an experienced supervisor who works collaboratively with staff on the daily operations of the centre. She seeks to build high expectations for teachers and optimal learning experiences for children. ERO and the supervisor agree that she could seek professional mentoring to support her leadership role.

There are opportunities for teachers to attend professional learning and development workshops and implement this learning in programmes. Staff have used self review processes to significantly improve the outdoor area so it strongly reflects the Samoan heritage of the children and their families. Managers should now develop a robust teacher appraisal system that meets the Education Council’s requirements for the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include:

  • revising and updating key policies
  • using self review processes to further refine and document assessment planning and evaluation for better outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Puataunofo 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 Puataunofo Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 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


Ranui, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15 Girls 9

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

July 2015

Date of this report

14 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2011


Education Review

May 2009


Education Review

October 2005

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.