Burnham Country Montessori - 27/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Burnham Country Montessori

How well placed is Burnham Country Montessori to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Burnham Country Montessori is well place to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Burnham Country Montessori is a purpose-built, privately-owned service. It provides full day education and care for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age. The centre is licensed for 68 children.

The centre's philosophy incorporates aspects of the Montessori philosophy and Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum, and focuses on providing a holistic approach to children's wellbeing and education. Children learn in one of three classrooms: a nursery for up to 2 years, a second room for children 2 to 4 years of age and an over 4 year old room. Each classroom has its own extensive outside area.

The management team consists of the two owners and the centre manager. Each room has a head teacher. Most staff are qualified early childhood teachers and many either have, or are in training to gain, Montessori qualifications. There have been several changes of staff recently, including a head teacher.

Centre leaders have addressed some of the areas for improvement identified in the 2014 ERO review, particularly the strengthening of assessment practices.

The Review Findings

Children learn in inviting, engaging environments that promote curiosity and exploration. They have a good range of resources that are well presented and easily accessible for self-selection. The outside areas provide many opportunities for children to engage in imaginative and challenging learning.

Leaders and teachers establish positive, welcoming relationships with children and their whānau. Children with additional learning needs are well supported. They are quickly included and their strengths are promoted.

Infants and toddlers benefit from nurturing, calm interactions that are unhurried and respectful. Teachers are considered and gentle in their responses to children's efforts to communicate through non verbal cues and emerging language acquisition.

Teachers regularly notice and record children's interests and purposefully provide experiences to extend learning. They ably support children's choices of learning activities and carefully encourage growing independence and completion of tasks. Children have many opportunities to engage with early literacy and mathematical concepts. Teachers and children work with and alongside one another in calm, settled environments.

Teachers have increased their understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori. They are thoughtfully integrating these bicultural practices into learning programmes. Children are hearing and using te reo Māori as a regular part of their day.

Transitions within the centre are carefully managed. Teachers are adaptable and respond with flexibility and care in meeting the emotional and wellbeing needs of children as they move into different classrooms.

Parents are kept well informed about children's learning programmes and receive regular useful assessments about their children's participation. Parents' and whānau feedback and involvement in the programme is invited and a number take this opportunity to share their views. Examples of good quality assessments clearly show children's progress over time and next steps for learning.

Recent professional learning and development is guiding leadership in how to effectively formulate strategic planning and internal evaluation processes. These are being developed collaboratively with staff and some community involvement.

Key Next Steps

The centre and ERO agree that the key next steps for improving outcomes for children are to further develop and consolidate strategic planning and deepen internal evaluation processes. This includes evaluating the centre's philosophy statement to ensure it reflects the centre's core beliefs about children's learning, current practice and bicultural commitment.

In addition ERO identified that:

  • the appraisal process does not meet the requirements of the Education Council
  • leaders and teachers need to further clarify and strengthen curriculum planning and evaluation processes, shifting the emphasis to a stronger focus on children's learning, dispositions and teaching strategies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Burnham Country Montessori 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.

During the onsite stage of the review, ERO identified an area of non-compliance:

The service provider must ensure that appraisals of staff in teaching positions is based on the Educational Council Practising Teacher Criteria Part 31 Education Act 1989.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Burnham Country Montessori will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

27 September 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

68 children, including up to 11 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 51; Girls 35

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

27 September 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

May 2011

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.