Mana Montessori Preschool Inc - 08/08/2012

 

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Mana Montessori Preschool is a purpose built early childhood education and care service in the Porirua City suburb of Whitby that caters for children from two to six years of age. The programme is strongly underpinned by the ideas and practices of the Montessori philosophy and curriculum. Children are able to attend either of the two mixed age classes.

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. Children greet their friends and quickly settle. They are well aware of expectations and routines for learning and behaviour. These are well established and implemented in a calm and settled environment that reflects Montessori principles.

Children actively engage in sustained, self-selected learning offered through the Montessori curriculum in a semi-structured environment. Resources and the programme support mathematics and literacy skill development. Children are friendly, cooperative, and respond positively to available leadership opportunities.

Parents are kept well-informed about their child’s learning through individual portfolios. Regular newsletters highlight preschool events. Staff consult with parents and families through annual surveys on aspects of the centre’s operation and the curriculum, and discuss findings.

Further work is required to fully implement the recommendations from the 2008 ERO review. Staff should continue to build their understanding and implementation of self review to ensure a high quality education continues to be offered to children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Mana Montessori Preschool Inc was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO.  ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

 

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff.  This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atMana Montessori Preschool Inc.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education.  For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Programme

The Montessori-based programme combines practical life, sensorial and academic education. This approach is outlined in the centre’s philosophy which also includes information on how staff will use the best practices of the Montessori teaching method in a New Zealand context.

The programme consists of sequential individualised plans which support children’s engagement and learning. Literacy and mathematics skills and concepts are embedded within these plans and are visible within day-to-day activities. The inclusion of these curriculum areas in the broad programme supports children’s development and transition to school.

A range of themes is used to broaden the programme which is well resourced to meet the Montessori curriculum expectations. A New Zealand context is reflected in some resources.

Children are familiar with the well established routines and expectations of their teachers and peers. Teachers actively monitor children’s participation in and familiarity with equipment and activities, and record when they have mastered activities. However, there is limited evidence of how teachers evaluate programme effectiveness to inform future learning and adapt planning to individual needs and interests. Portfolios contain information about children’s progression through the programme and include references to the strands of Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum).

The programme in relation to the Montessori curriculum is well established. Teachers need to develop an understanding of its integration with Te Whāriki to better support the implementation of a bicultural approach to learning.

Environment

The learning environment is spacious, well organised and conscientiously maintained throughout the day. Orderliness contributes to a calm, settled tone throughout the centre. Children actively assist in keeping the learning environment neat and tidy.

The outdoor area has been a focus for improvement and provides a range of opportunities for physical and social development. Children freely access a wide range of structured materials both indoors and outdoors.

 

Interactions

Teachers are positive and encouraging as they support individual children to engage with prepared activities and foster the development of self-help skills. Teachers also work collaboratively to support each other’s learning and development.

An annual satisfaction survey is undertaken with parents.

Children demonstrate respect for their peers and their environment. Parents appreciate the respectful relationships that develop among children and between staff and children. Teachers’ confidence and use of te reo Māori within the programme is emerging.

Areas for development and review

Teachers should continue to develop effective strategies for noticing, recognising and responding to children as a group. Development in this area has the potential to enhance children’s sense of belonging and contribution in a consistent way.

ERO’s external evaluation affirms teachers continued development of their knowledge, understanding and integration of te reo me nga tikanga Māori.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Mana Montessori Preschool Inc completed an ERO Centre Management Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist.  In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures.  ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

 

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

 

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

 

 


 

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

50 children aged over two

Roll number

62

Gender composition

Male 32, Female 30

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 48, Māori 7,
Other ethnic groups 7

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

8 August 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review         November 2008
Education Review         July 2005
Accountability Review  January 2000

 

 

To the Parents and Community of Mana Montessori Preschool Inc

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Mana Montessori Preschool Inc.

Mana Montessori Preschool is a purpose built early childhood education and care service in the Porirua City suburb of Whitby that caters for children from two to six years of age. The programme is strongly underpinned by the ideas and practices of the Montessori philosophy and curriculum. Children are able to attend either of the two mixed age classes.

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. Children greet their friends and quickly settle. They are well aware of expectations and routines for learning and behaviour. These are well established and implemented in a calm and settled environment that reflects Montessori principles.

Children actively engage in sustained, self-selected learning offered through the Montessori curriculum in a semi-structured environment. Resources and the programme support mathematics and literacy skill development. Children are friendly, cooperative, and respond positively to available leadership opportunities.

Parents are kept well-informed about their child’s learning through individual portfolios. Regular newsletters highlight preschool events. Staff consult with parents and families through annual surveys on aspects of the centre’s operation and the curriculum, and discuss findings.

Further work is required to fully implement the recommendations from the 2008 ERO review. Staff should continue to build their understanding and implementation of self review to ensure a high quality education continues to be offered to children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take.  You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

 

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)


GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews.  The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review.  ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues.  The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement.  A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue.  There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.