Casa Dei Bambini Foundation School - 19/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Casa dei Bambini Foundation School

How well placed is Casa dei Bambini Foundation School to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Casa dei Bambini Foundation School is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Casa dei Bambini Foundation School is a Montessori early childhood service in Christchurch. This full day service is licensed to educate and care for up to 27 children aged from 2 to school age. The day is split into two sessions, with older children attending in the morning or for the whole day, and younger children starting in the afternoon session.

Casa Dei Bambini Foundation School is governed by the Casa dei Bambini Educational Trust. The centre manager works closely with the head teacher. The stable, experienced staff are all qualified Montessori teachers and almost all are qualified early childhood teachers.

The philosophy of the service focuses on the holistic learning and wellbeing of children through a Montessori curriculum which is underpinned by Te Whāriki Early Childhood Curriculum. The environment is presented in a way that encourages children to be risk takers. The philosophy also focuses on quality, respectful interactions between children and adults and the importance of family in promoting a child’s learning.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and work in respectful partnerships with other learners and teachers. They learn in an orderly and well-resourced environment with high-quality Montessori equipment purposefully presented to encourage children's curiosity.

The child centred and led curriculum has a strong focus on literacy, numeracy and science. These areas are integrated into the curriculum in ways that are meaningful to children’s learning. Teachers engage in purposeful conversations with children to extend their oral language, thinking and problem solving skills.

Children are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and to care for others and the environment. Leaders and teachers know children well. They identify and are responsive to children’s interests, strengths and capabilities.

The transition of children into, within and beyond the centre is well supported by personalised practices and processes. Children with specific learning needs benefit from an inclusive learning environment and planning that includes intentional teaching, differentiated programmes and access to external support.

Parents' aspirations are sought, acknowledged, valued and used to guide teaching and learning. The service promotes effective partnerships with parents to support children’s wellbeing and learning. Parents are kept informed of their children’s learning and participation in the learning programme through well written learning records and informative displays.

The efficient management and governance structure supports the effective operation of the service. There is a clear alignment of the service's philosophy, curriculum, internal evaluation, strategic goals, appraisal and professional development. A well thought out strategic plan prioritises actions within the centre. Ongoing monitoring and evaluating of progress towards strategic goals would help with determining next steps for improvement and evaluating the impact of planning on outcomes for children.

The philosophy of the service is strongly evident in practice. Teachers model the philosophy through care and respect for one another and families. There is a focus on continuous improvement and high-quality outcomes for children. This is supported by a systematic approach to collaborative, evidence-based internal evaluation focused on service priorities and improved outcomes for teaching and learning.

Strong leadership of the centre supports positive outcomes for children and continuous improvement. Teachers are encouraged to grow their teaching capability through reflective practice and professional development that is responsive to their needs and relates to the goals and priorities of the centre.

The service has made progress towards meeting the recommendation in the October 2016 ERO report. Appraisal is embedded and confidently used to improve teaching and learning. Teachers are beginning to use te reo and tikanga Māori as part of their daily routines. The centre has identified that a next step in this area is to further develop culturally responsive pedagogies. ERO recommends that this should include consultation with whānau and iwi and professional development of staff.

Key Next Steps

The service has identified and ERO agrees that a key next step to improve outcomes for children is to extend leaders' and teachers' understanding of culturally responsive practices by:

  • consulting with whānau and iwi to ensure authentic partnerships are developed and maintained

  • providing ongoing targeted PLD opportunities for teachers and leaders to continue to strengthen understanding and use of culturally responsive practices and competencies

  • continuing to strengthen bicultural perspectives by increasing children’s language, culture and identity in their learning records.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Casa dei Bambini Foundation School 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

19 December 2019

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

27 children, two years and older

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 35; Girls 28

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other Ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

19 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

April 2013

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.