Capital Montessori School - 30/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Capital Montessori School

How well placed is Capital Montessori School 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.

Background

Capital Montessori School has operated since 1986 in Kingston, Wellington. It caters for up to 60 children aged from three to six years, in two mixed-aged classrooms. Of the 44 children enrolled, four are Māori and one identifies as Pacific.

The recently-created parent academy supports parents' understanding of teaching and learning. It also provides opportunities for parents to be involved in activities to enhance the indoor and outdoor environments.

Governance of the centre is provided by a council of elected parent representatives. They oversee staffing, resourcing, school developments and requirements for legal obligations. The principal provides operational and management leadership for the school. A team leader who has responsibility for each class is supported by qualified staff.

Since ERO's March 2014 review, there has been a period of significant change at all levels with a restructure of governance and management, new leadership and staff.

Capital Montessori school's March 2014 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included establishing effective processes for information sharing between board members, leaders and teachers; and implementing effective annual appraisal for the principal. There has been significant progress in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in a calm, peaceful learning environment. Classrooms are carefully organised to facilitate their access to a range of learning experiences. There is a strong focus on assisting children to use Montessori materials. Positive guidance is used well by teachers to promote children's wise decision making and respect for others and the environment. Children are aware of expectations. Polite and courteous behaviour is highly evident.

Leaders prioritise the development of purposeful relationships with parents. The programme is responsive to families' aspirations for their children's learning. Their views are regularly sought and valued to support decision making about aspects of operation.

Children's learning journals include a range of interesting information about their engagement and progress in the programme.

Staff have worked to integrate the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Montessori philosophy. Some guiding documents and children's learning journals include reference to both. Leaders should continue to strengthen: the integration and visibility of Te Whāriki and Montessori in assessment records to support parents' understanding.

Leadership roles and responsibilities are well-defined. There is strong support for the development of teacher capability. A positive and supportive culture is evident. The new appraisal process includes a robust framework to assist teachers to inquire into their practice. This is in the early stages of implementation. The principal is appraised externally. Professional development is linked to school and individual teacher requirements.

A useful internal evaluation framework is in place. Parents have regular opportunities to meaningfully contribute to this process. More clearly defined evaluative questions and indicators of success should strengthen decision making for improvement.

The bicultural perspective is developing. An in-depth review has supported teachers' understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. The principal agrees that continuing to strengthen the team's understanding of te ao Māori and ways of working with Māori learners is a priority.

A range of information is made available for parents to support their children's transitions to primary school. The principal has plans to build relationships with a wider range of local schools. A useful exit report provides comprehensive information to support children's continuity of learning.

A board-funded Montessori playgroup operates several times a week on its premises. This supports families and their children's pathway into Capital Montessori School.

Determining the impact of the revised structure in relation to desired outcomes is a key next step. The redefined governance and management arrangement is supporting improved operation of Capital Montessori School. Draft guidelines have been developed to reflect responsibilities and delegations.

There is a clear vision and long term plan in place. Progress towards the plan is carefully monitored. The principal provides monthly written reports to the board. Board minutes provide a good record of decisions and key aspects of operation. A review cycle has been developed to keep policies current.

Key Next Steps

ERO, leaders and the board agree to continue to:

  • strengthen evaluation

  • work on the integration of Te Whāriki and the Montessori approach

  • seek links with mana whenua to support understanding of te ao Māori and ways of working with Māori learners

  • evaluate the impact of the governance and management restructure in relation to desired outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Capital Montessori School 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 Capital Montessori School will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

30 May 2017

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

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60311

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children aged over 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Girls 25, Boys 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Asian

Indian

Other ethnic groups

4

20

1

7

6

6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

30 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

June 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.