Montessori Courtyard Preschool - 18/01/2013

1. Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Montessori Courtyard Preschool is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

The Montessori Courtyard Preschool caters for children from two and half to six years old. It is administered by a board of parents who are elected annually. The manager and teachers are experienced, fully qualified early childhood and Montessori teachers.

The board, manager and staff have continued to provide a high-quality service evident in the 2009 ERO report. Since the 2009 ERO review, they have successfully designed the spacious outdoor area to further enhance children’s learning opportunities.

Areas of strength

Children are confident and independent learners. They are well supported by their teachers to develop their ideas and enjoy learning. They concentrate for long periods of time to achieve success, knowledge and understanding of the Montessori curriculum.

Children are respectful and supportive of each other. Teachers successfully model their expectations and guide children to manage their own behaviour and relationships with each other and teachers. Older children provide good leadership and support for younger children in the programme.

The resources strongly support children’s development of early literacy and numeracy skills. ERO observed children exploring advanced mathematical concepts with enthusiasm and persistence. At group times, children confidently responded to questions in simple te reo Māori and sing waiata. Children are beginning to use the newly developed outdoor environment to further explore science, to solve problems and develop their creativity.

A strength of the programme is the support provided for transition to school. The manager and teachers are making good use of self-review findings to improve the liaison and information sharing with schools to ensure children settle easily into the school environment. Teachers have made good links between the school and early childhood curriculum in developing a programme for four and five year olds.

Assessment and planning have a good focus on individual children’s learning. Teachers have made effective use of self review to continue to improve the quality and usefulness of assessment records.

The manager and teachers foster strong partnerships with parents that support children’s learning. Parents’ aspirations for their children’s learning are highly valued and well used in planning and assessment. The parent board regularly seeks parent feedback and uses this information to continue to improve the quality of the service.

Effective leadership is evident at all levels. The board provides a well developed strategic framework that effectively guides centre operations. The manager has high expectations. She provides clear direction to staff while also supporting them to take responsibility for leading aspects of centre development. The focus of the appraisal process on ongoing improvement supports all staff to develop their professional practice and reach their potential.

Areas for development and review

The manager and ERO agree that the next steps to continue to improve children’s learning could include:

  • supporting children more to understand and contribute to decisions about their learning
  • integrating a bicultural dimension more fully in the programme to benefit all children
  • strengthening the understanding of Māori children about their identity, language and culture through the programme, assessment and planning.

2. Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori Courtyard Preschool completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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.

3. Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

18 January 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70475

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, over two years of age number

Service roll

72

Gender composition

Girls 42; Boys 30

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Latin American

61

3

7

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

     
 

Over 2

1:9

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

18 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

August 2006

January 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service 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 the service.

Disclaimer

Individual ERO school and early childhood service reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington.