Savali Ole Filemu Aoga Amata - 24/02/2016

1. Evaluation of Savali Ole Filemu Aoga Amata

How well placed is Savali Ole Filemu 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.


Savali Ole Filemu Aoga Amata, in Manurewa, provides early childhood education for up to 40 children, including ten children under two years of age. The centre is linked to the EFKS Weymouth Church. It has a strong philosophy based on Samoan language, culture and values, and Christian values and beliefs.

Children are organised into two age-related groups and there are outdoor areas for each group. The centre mainly serves the local Samoan community. Teachers are well qualified. All teachers have Samoan heritage and a good understanding of the Samoan language, culture and values.

The centre manager and two head teachers provide leadership for the centre. The centre manager has responsibility for management and administration systems. A successful funding application will enable significant improvements to be made to the environment, including a building upgrade and a custom designed playground in 2016.

The 2012 ERO report commented positively on how well the core curriculum was responding to children’s interests. The report noted the strong sense of identity that children had as young Samoan learners. These positive features are still evident. The report recommended that self review be further developed as part of curriculum planning, assessment and evaluation, and centre operations. Recent professional learning has supported teachers to improve planning, assessment and evaluation practices.

The Review Findings

Children are provided with an environment that is welcoming and caring. They are confident and keen to engage with adults and each other. They enjoy and participate in imaginative, cooperative and independent play. They relate and play together well and are developing good social skills. Teachers interact frequently with children and ask them questions about their play. Positive interactions support children to be settled and confident.

The learning environments are attractive, inviting and spacious. Teachers support children to use resources and engage in prepared activities. Curriculum areas are set up to support children’s development of independent and self-managing skills. Children learn to make choices, to lead their own learning and independently select resources.

Infants and toddlers have their own separate indoor and outdoor spaces. Teachers are welcoming and friendly, and promote a flexible and relaxed tone. Their responsive caregiving supports infants’ need for secure attachments. Teachers respond to children’s interests in ways that promote their learning and development. Teachers should continue to encourage children’s independence and could engage children in a wider range of learning experiences.

The programme celebrates children’s Samoan identity and culture. It is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and promotes gagana and fa’a Samoa. The programme builds on children’s interests and allows for uninterrupted, free play. Music, singing and the use of ukulele are notable features of the curriculum. Teachers enthusiastically lead mat times activities, often using the Samoan language. In the under-two area, teachers regularly use Samoan language with children. They encourage children to use the Samoan language and provide cultural support through programme activities and the celebration of special events.

Children’s individual portfolios are focused on learning. Good progress has been made to improve the quality of curriculum planning, particularly for the under two's programme. Teachers are beginning to plan for, and integrate, early science, literacy and mathematics concepts.

Teachers have strong relationships with families. Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. Teachers have formal and informal discussions with parents and aiga. Parents also discuss and have input into their children’s learning stories and portfolios. Parents report that teachers are supportive, approachable and helpful. They appreciate the opportunities their children have to learn Samoan language and culture, and the quality of education and care.

Effective management processes are maintained. Strategic and annual plans are well developed, aligned, and identify key priorities for future centre development. Measurable outcomes and indicators of success provide a good foundation for leaders to measure progress towards strategic and annual goals.

The centre manager is aware of the need to review and update the appraisal policy and processes. The aim is to ensure that these policies and processes are consistent with recent changes to legislation. Next steps also include developing the leadership capability of the team leaders, and increasing teachers' understanding of effective self review. Centre leaders could use indicators of effective self review to build teacher understanding and to promote the use of self review as a regular part of centre-wide practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that next steps include:

  • improving the quality and consistency of planning, assessment and evaluation practices
  • extending children’s learning and providing more challenge and complexity in children’s play
  • planning for, and integrating, mathematics, literacy and science concepts in the curriculum
  • reviewing the transition to school programme to ensure that the focus is on learning through play.

Ongoing professional learning would help teachers to address these areas of development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 February 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


Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31, Boys 23

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

24 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012


Education Review

February 2009

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.