Waikato Montessori Education Centre - 11/01/2018

Findings

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Waikato Montessori Education Centre meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

Waikato Montessori Education Centre is a fully registered private school located in Tamahere, a semi-rural district on the southern outskirts of Hamilton. The school is owned and administered by The Golden Beads Charitable Trust. Students range from six to twelve years of age. Many students have attended the adjacent Montessori early education centre for three to six year olds, which is also owned by the trust. The school operates two classrooms for 47 students, one class for students aged six to nine years and another for older students.

The school is led by the founder of Golden Beads Trust, who is supported by a co-trustee who is the professional leader for teachers. The teaching staff consists of four Montessori trained teachers, three of whom are also fully registered New Zealand teachers.

The school provides an integrated curriculum based on the teaching of Maria Montessori. The philosophy describes how children learn through hands-on experience and investigation. It also documents the intent to deliver a complete Montessori Curriculum within a calm respectful environment.

The curriculum is based on fundamental skills and core knowledge of mathematics and language. It also includes the realms of science and technology, myth and literature, history, geography, economics and anthropology.

2 Criteria for Registration

The criteria for registration as a private school under section 35A are that the school:

  • has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and
  • usually provides tuition for nine or more students who are of or over the age of five years but are under the age of 16 years; and
  • has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and
  • has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and
  • has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and
  • has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and
  • has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

This report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

School premises are well designed and maintained. Learning environments are planned, prepared and well-resourced to support the delivery of the Montessori curriculum. Spacious grounds and gardens provide areas that invite students’ involvement, challenge their ideas and enable them to explore science, nature, art, sports and development of their physical skills. With the guidance of teachers, students are able to take ownership for the care of learning environments. Students also benefit from learning in peaceful, orderly and settled classrooms.

The school’s curriculum reflects the breadth and depth of The New Zealand Curriculum in the Montessori context. Reading and mathematics are prioritised. Integrated learning is planned in response to each child’s individual pathways which include their questions and research topics based on personal interests. There are many opportunities for students to plan their learning, self-assess and monitor their own progress. Students are encouraged and supported to become independent, self-motivated thinkers and problem solvers.

Teachers work alongside students to guide and support emerging ideas. They present the Montessori materials in a planned sequence and allow students to develop at their own pace.

Sound systems are in place to build teacher capability. Teachers engage in professional learning and development as well as networking with other Montessori centres, both nationally and internationally. They have also attended specific professional development about literacy learning to support students with additional needs.

Effective performance management systems support teachers to continually reflect on and improve their practice. Clear and high expectations from leaders, along with ongoing support, contribute to consistency of professional practice.

The trust has developed appropriate policies that guide the operation and management of the school. Systems that contribute to the ongoing monitoring of health and safety requirements are in place and regularly reviewed.

The school’s manager has attested that they comply with the provisions of Section 35G in respect of their being a fit and proper person to run the school.

3 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Waikato Montessori Education Centre meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 January 2018

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

671

School type

Private Montessori (Age 6-12 Years)

School roll

47

Gender composition

Girls 25

Boys 22

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Asian
Other European
Other

28
8
5
4
2

Review team on site

December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Private School Review

2013