Seugagogo Aoga Amata Preschool - 17/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Seugagogo Aoga Amata Preschool

How well placed is Seugagogo Aoga Amata Preschool 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.


Seugagogo Aoga Amata provides full day care and education for up to 60 children including up to 10 infants and toddlers. The centre has a strong focus on promoting the language, culture and identity of Samoan children. Most children are Samoan, and there are small numbers of other groups including Māori.

During 2015 several changes have occurred. A change in the service’s licence has meant a significant increase in the number of children able to attend the service. A new supervisor and four teachers have been appointed. A new building (Nikau) has been completed for the older children. The infants and toddlers remain in the neighbouring original building (Mason).

The aoga amata operates under the umbrella of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa. The aoga amata board includes church parents and staff representatives. The centre has recently reviewed its philosophy, which focuses on the Samoan language and culture, and promoting a safe environment.

In 2012 ERO identified a number of areas for improvement. ERO suggested developing shared understandings to enable teachers to implement the centre’s philosophy, improved support for extending children’s learning and their social competence, and governance matters such as self review and long term planning. Good progress has been made in most areas but ongoing improvement and development are required.

The Review Findings

Children are settled in the centre and have respectful relationships with teachers. Older children are developing friendships with their peers. Children make choices about their play, engage well with the resources and relate well with each other. Self-help skills and leadership are promoted. Children are highly responsive to teachers’ questions about their play and interests, showing that they understand gagana and aganu’u Samoa well.

Children benefit from the culturally rich environment where their language and sense of belonging are fostered. Children keenly participate in Samoan songs that support gagana Samoa and strongly reinforce Samoan culture, values and identity. They are familiar with routines and participate well in singing and spiritual activities as a group. At these times teachers and children confidently use te reo Māori phrases and songs. Teachers should consider how routines such as mat times can sometimes interrupt valuable child initiated play.

Teachers know children and aiga well. They provide regular opportunities to meet and discuss children’s learning with aiga. They have responded well to parents’ aspirations for their children to learn gagana Samoa and model the language very well.

Teachers’ respond appropriately to infants’ and toddlers play interests. They support babies’ development through warm and caring relationships. The manager and supervisors recognise that at times, teachers of the infants and toddlers could provide more wait time to enable children to respond to their interactions. Raising teachers’ expectations of children could enhance their learning.

Teachers planning and assessments are closely aligned to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers have translated aspects of Te Whāriki into gagana Samoa to support them with programme planning. They meet weekly to reflect on the programme and discuss children’s interests. Portfolios are attractive records that show children’s interests and learning over time. The manager and supervisors intend to review planning, assessment and evaluation processes that support children to transition between Mason and Nikau.

A focus for 2015 has been developing transition processes through the aoga. Teachers have connections with local schools that provide gagana Samoan learning environments for their children. These relationships help strengthen transition processes.

Self-review processes are developing. The manager and supervisors consult with parents and children as part of self review. The skilled centre manager is focused on ongoing improvement and building teachers’ leadership capability. Teachers have good opportunities for professional learning and development. The manager and supervisors acknowledge the usefulness of working more closely as a team to strengthen consistency. The manager acknowledges that reviewing the appraisal process is a priority.

The board has developed governance expectations and financially resource developments at the aoga. The board intends reviewing the service’s strategic plan.

Key Next Steps

The manager and supervisors agree that key next steps include continuing to:

  • develop leadership processes that support quality of practice and greater consistency across the two rooms
  • embed inquiry and self-review processes that promote critical thinking by staff and positive outcomes for children
  • develop teaching strategies that support children’s individual interests and complex play opportunities
  • promote child centred learning opportunities that strengthen children’s critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Seugagogo Aoga Amata Preschool 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 Seugagogo Aoga Amata Preschool 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


Otahuhu, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 19

Ethnic composition





Cook Island






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

October 2011


Education Review

June 2008


Education Review

October 2004

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.