Helensville Montessori - 15/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Helensville Montessori is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children’s wellbeing and learning.


Helensville Montessori is located in the rural town of Helensville, north of Auckland. It is licensed for 76 children between the ages of two and six years of age. The centre is made up of three linked areas that are spread over two spacious properties. Nido centre caters for small groups of children from two to three years of age. Casa and Villa provide for children from three to six years of age.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. It continues to provide a high quality programme based on Montessori philosophy integrated with Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, and Reggio Emilia philosophies. The centre is well led and team leaders and staff work collaboratively and respectfully with parents, children and each other. Self-review is valued, effectively led and focused on building good outcomes for children.

Review Findings

Children are confident explorers. They are trusted to make their own choices and have established genuine friendships with teachers and other children. Children lead their own learning and work to their own rhythm and pace. The flexible routines allow children to have the freedom and opportunity to develop independence. Older children support younger children to transition easily between spaces within the centre.

Skilful teachers support children to become confident and competent learners. They interact respectfully with children, engaging them in meaningful conversations. Teachers are sensitive and responsive to children’s individual development. They provide a calm ordered pace that allows children appropriate time and space to learn.

Teachers provide a well considered, high quality learning environment for children to experiment and make discoveries. The practical learning experiences allow children to develop daily living skills in a child focused way. Programmes also provide opportunities for children to become familiar with te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers could enhance this provision by displaying Māori words and phrases at children’s levels to encourage children to recognise and use these prompts regularly.

Children’s assessment portfolios celebrate children’s milestones. They contain good information for parents about children’s care and engagement in the programme. Planning and assessment are integral to the programme which is focused on enhancing children’s learning experiences.

Parents value regular opportunities to provide feedback as part of the centre's self-review process. They express a very high level of satisfaction with the education and care provided for their children. They appreciate opportunities to discuss their child’s learning through learning portfolios and parent teacher meetings.

The centre leader promotes professionalism and shared leadership practices. She leads a culturally diverse teaching team effectively. Staff turnover is low as a result of thoughtful and considerate employment practices. The centre leader has a clear vision for the further development of the centre. Parents, staff and children have all contributed to developing a collective vision for the next phase of centre development.

Team leaders value relationships based on mutual respect and trust. Sound pedagogical knowledge and a culture of reflective practice are strengths of the leadership team. They provide appropriate and relevant professional development for staff. Teachers enthusiastically commit to professional development and have created a culture where children are valued, celebrated and affirmed.

The quality of centre practice is recognised in the early childhood sector. Team leaders have identified an interest in their own research related to early childhood development. Staff are currently working with academic researchers to investigate the impact of a music and performing arts programme on young children.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Helensville 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.

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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

15 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

76 children, including up to 0 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 42

Girls 40

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā








Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 years


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

15 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

April 2007

February 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.