Kauri Montessori - 19/07/2018

1 Evaluation of Kauri Montessori

How well placed is Kauri Montessori 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.


Kauri Montessori provides full-day education and care for children in two classrooms. One classroom (the nursery) caters for children from ten months to three years of age, and the other (the preschool) from two and a half years to six years of age. The centre is located in central Nelson. It is one of three privately-owned centres, collectively known as The Bays Montessoris.

This service is licensed for up to 42 children, 12 in the nursery and 30 in the preschool. Its two classrooms have their own spacious and well-resourced outdoor areas. Each classroom has a leader and a team of teachers.

The owner and leaders are trained Montessori educators. Teachers are mostly qualified, registered and Montessori trained early childhood teachers. Several are undertaking further study.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been changes in leadership and teaching teams. The centre has introduced the nursery (Miro Room) during this time.

This review was one of three reviews of The Bays Montessoris. The owner provides leadership across all three centres in The Bays Montessoris.

The Review Findings

The Montessori philosophy is strongly evident in all aspects of the curriculum. Children experience a rich, broad curriculum aligned to Te Whāriki. Leaders and teachers prioritise relationship building and promote the value of respect. The centre has been responsive to the need to increase bicultural perspectives. This is evident in the way te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori concepts are increasingly integrated within centre practices.

Children are effectively supported to achieve the key priorities for their learning outlined in planning processes. They are encouraged to follow their own interests and curiosities, to learn through their experiences, and to explore the local and natural environment. They are provided with authentic contexts, resources and activities to help them make sense of the world that surrounds them. Teachers sensitively promote children's independence, skills and confidence in themselves (whakamana), in each other (whanaungatanga), and in their environment around them (kōtahitanga). This includes helping to prepare, serve and clean up for daily kai time. The small number of Māori children are acknowledged and supported to achieve successes within the context of their identity and culture.

Children learn in calm, respectful and supportive environments. Key teachers in the nursery (Miro Room) provide unhurried primary care and learning opportunities for each child. Teachers in the preschool (Matai Room) have meaningful relationships with every child. Children have settled time for focused, productive learning. Teacher interactions are respectful, responsive and empowering. They effectively engage in children's activities of interest and know when to intervene or remain as observers. They support children's inquiry in learning and problem solving. Teachers know their children well.

Children exhibit a strong sense of belonging, security and being cared for. They have a wide range of opportunities for reciprocal learning (ako), to develop social skills such as empathy, and to take leadership and caring roles (tuakana teina) in supporting younger children.

Teachers provide rich learning experiences and opportunities for children. The indoor and outdoor areas are spacious and well resourced. They stimulate opportunities for creative play, safe risk taking, and both spontaneous and planned activities. A respect for nature, the natural world and sustainable practices is a key area for children's learning.

Leaders and teachers have built constructive partnerships with parents. They encourage parent support, ideas and expertise in the development of programmes and priorities for children's learning. Families have many opportunities to be involved in their children's learning. The centre uses digital communication to create more frequent and responsive connections with families and whānau about their children's learning.

Leaders and teachers effectively manage transition processes into and from the centre. With the recent addition of the nursery (Miro Room), the two classroom leaders are working collaboratively to further improve, rationalise and develop processes for transitioning children from the nursery to the preschool.

Leaders work collaboratively with teachers across the centre, tending to each child's holistic development. Everyone regularly shares information about the children. This helps to ensure continuity in assessment, planning and learning for each child. Children with additional learning needs are identified and well supported.

The centre owner provides in-depth support for this service and across all three centres. She ensures teachers receive relevant professional learning, including deepening their understanding of the Montessori approach. She works collaboratively with the centre leaders, building leadership capability and sustainable practices. Kauri Montessori is beginning to benefit from increasing collaboration across the three centres.

The leaders meet regularly to discuss and share best practice with each other and also with the centre owner. Long-term planning usefully guides development within and across centres. There has been an improvement in staff understanding of internal evaluation for improvement, within and across centres. A recent review of the key priorities for learning in The Bays Montessoris centres is now being used to guide teaching and learning at each centre.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre leaders agree that the key next steps for teachers are to continue to:

  • strengthen the focus and processes for spontaneous reviews

  • develop and strengthen appraisal processes, including the timetabling of formal observations of teaching

  • refine processes for transitioning children within the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kauri 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

19 July 2018

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

42 children, including up to 12 aged under 2 (maximum of 8)

Service roll

50 children, aged 10 months to 6 years

Gender composition

Boys: 28

Girls: 22

Ethnic composition



Other ethnicities




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

19 July 2018

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

February 2015

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.