Sara Petesa A'oga Amata - 16/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Sara Petesa A'oga Amata

How well placed is Sara Petesa A'oga 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.


Sara Petesa A'oga Amata operates under the management of the Otara Samoan Assembly of God and is located behind the church on a large site. The A'oga serves the church and community providing all day Samoan language immersion. All children attending are of Samoan heritage.

Since the 2012 ERO review there has been an increase in opening hours and child places. In 2015 a new building was constructed and licensed for 50 children under 3 years of age. The original building is licensed for 40 children over three years and over. A new playground has been constructed in this area. Management has reviewed policies and systems to accommodate these changes.

Providing best quality care and education for all children in a home environment is a key aspect of the centre philosophy. Gagana Samoa, Aganu'u Samoa and Christian beliefs underpin the programme and teaching pratices. The centre is staffed by seven teachers, of which four are qualified. There is a full-time onsite centre manager and cook. Meals are nutritious and prepared on site.

The 2012 ERO report noted the need for improvements to curriculum management, centre leadership and management. Good progress has been made in improving the programme and learning environment for children. Successive ERO reports have commented on the positive and affirming relationships among teachers, children and families. This continues to be a significant feature of the centre.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, engage in sustained play and have fun as they learn. They have a strong sense of belonging and participate in the programme with eagerness and confidence. Children have friendships, play cooperatively and many are fluent Samoan speakers. Teachers affirm and enrich children’s knowledge and use of the Samoan language and integrate te reo and tikanga Māori. Children’s cultural identity is effectively supported.

Infants and toddlers benefit from the nurturing and responsive care. Teachers consistently talk and sing to children in Samoan and encourage them to respond. There is a calm gentle tone in the centre. Infants receive an individualised programme and their dignity as a very young learner is respected. Toddlers are able to make choices and explore the well resourced environment and engage in sensory activities. They are confident, have a sense of security and are developing independence.

Teachers interact positively with children and provide good support for play. A future focus for teachers now is to review how effectively they promote challenge and complexity in children's play.

Children benefit from good periods of uninterrupted play and independent choice of play areas and activities. The welcoming, well resourced environment reflects Samoan identity and culture and acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua. Children’s physical development is promoted by easy access to the large, well equipped outside area. They are developing an understanding of healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Samoan and Christian values and principles along with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, guide the centres curriculum. Children’s assessment portfolios are well presented and provide a good record of centre activities and group learning experiences. Parent and child voice is valued and included in many portfolios. Centre leaders are looking at moving to online portfolios to have ready access to information about their children’s learning and assessment.

Well established leadership with clear lines of communication and accountability is in place. The management committee has a strong commitment to providing a good quality service and ongoing improvement and is actively involved in the centre. The centre manager is supportive of teachers, aware of their strengths and encourages professional development. The addition of the under three centre and increasing the hours and numbers of children has increased leadership opportunities for teachers. Centre leaders and teachers work as a cohesive team and model the centre philosophy, vision and mission.

Centre leaders have developed clear management plans and very comprehensive policies and procedures to guide the centre’s future direction. They have improved appraisal processes and are aware of the need for teachers having stronger reflection on their practices. Self review is established and, prior to the ERO review, centre leaders identified that self review could be strengthened and better documented.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that next steps to support ongoing review and improvement could include:

  • developing a more evaluative and collaborative process of self review that focuses on educational outcomes for children

  • implementing a more robust evidence based appraisal process that increases teachers' documented reflection about their practice and the impact of professional development, and meets the Education Council requirements

  • strengthening assessment and planning processes to show how teachers respond to and build on children’s individual interests, strengths and dispositions over time.

  • reviewing centre policies and procedures and teacher practices, including the formal transition to school programme

  • teachers continuing to review the effectiveness of how increased space is used to promote the complexity of play and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sara Petesa A'oga 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.

ERO identified one area of non-compliance. The centre management must ensure that all non-registered staff are vetted by the police every three years.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA 7.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Sara Petesa A'oga Amata will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 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


East Tamaki, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

90 children, including up to 30 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20 Boys 19

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2012

Supplementary Review

December 2008

Education Review

November 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.