Wanganui Montessori Preschool - 20/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Wanganui Montessori Preschool

How well placed is Wanganui Montessori 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.

Background

Wanganui Montessori Preschool is a community-based early learning service. A parent committee form the governance foundation. The centre is licensed for up to 50 children over two years of age. Of the 48 children enrolled six are Māori.

The manager works closely with the head teacher to provide early childhood care and education grounded in Montessori philosophy and Te Whāriki the early childhood curriculum.

The centre philosophy promotes a dynamic, stimulating and responsive curriculum which will instil a lifelong love of learning for all children. It highlights the importance of whānau contribution to these journeys and places emphasis on respectful relationships. There is also a focus on fostering children's wellbeing through showing empathy and caring for one another.

Most teachers at Wanganui Montessori Preschool have both Montessori and New Zealand early childhood education qualifications. Many are also registered teachers.

The July 2014 ERO report identified that centre leaders needed to improve the quality of reporting to the parent committee, the effectiveness of planning for children's learning, and review for improvement. Progress is evident.

The Review Findings

The philosophy of the centre is well articulated and enacted. Children are viewed as confident, capable learners who learn through their play. They are able to lead their own learning and make choices about their participation. Teachers encourage their self management.

The spacious centre environment and refreshed outdoor space are well resourced to promote children's learning. Literacy, mathematics, science, nature and creative arts are well supported.

Respectful relationships between adults and children are evident. Children with additional needs are well supported within an inclusive learning environment.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are included in routines and learning experiences. Activities include waiata, karakia, use of natural resources and consideration of books, Māori arts, local stories and artefacts.

Te ao Māori is woven through centre practices and includes visible acknowledgement of iwi and local landmarks. Māori cultural events are celebrated. The centre has identified building links with local iwi and marae as a next step.

Teachers approach to planning for learning requires improvement. The centre implements planning for learning based on observations of individual children and groups. An online platform offers opportunities for parents, whānau and teachers to contribute to their child's learning. Recording individual children's learning preferences, interests and needs should strengthen assessment and evidence-based practice.

Learning stories record children's progress over time. Parents' aspirations are gathered and responded to. Literacy and mathematics are evident.

Children's transitions into the centre, through and on to school are thoughtfully considered. An internal evaluation of transition to school has led to an improved process for children, parents and teachers.

The teaching team is building a shared understanding of best practice early childhood education and care. Leaders and managers promote opportunities for teachers to develop leadership capability. Roles and expectations are clearly defined.

Teachers' professional learning needs are identified through the appraisal process. This is contributing to the strengthening of their capability. Leaders have a strong commitment to teachers furthering their qualifications. To add rigour to the appraisal process observations of teacher practice, robust feedback and feed forward and deeper levels of reflection and analysis should become part of the approach.

Internal evaluation is a well-considered process which is undertaken regularly and contributes to positive change and improved outcomes for children. Teachers are reflective and improvement focused.

Governance practice effectively supports teachers in their focus on strengthening teaching and learning. Useful monthly reports to the parent committee inform decision making to improve education and care for children.

Key Next Steps

Management and leaders should:

  • improve the quality and implementation of the appraisal process

  • build capability in assessment

  • continue to develop links with local iwi and marae.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wanganui Montessori 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 Wanganui Montessori Preschool will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

20 October 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

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

51528

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, aged over 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 25, Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori Pākehā Asian

6 38 4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

20 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

June 2008

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.