Koru Montessori - 26/06/2013

1 Evaluation of Koru Montessori

How well placed is Koru 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.


Koru Montessori is a privately owned, well established centre that caters for children aged between two and six years. The centre is located in Sunnynook in a converted house. Some children attending the centre come from the local area and others are from the wider North Shore. The centre is open from 9 am to 3.30 pm, with children attending either morning or afternoon sessions or full days.

Children of mixed ages attend together. This practice is an integral part of the Montessori philosophy. Parents are well informed about the centre philosophy at the time of their children’s enrolment.

The centre has had a history of consistently positive ERO reports. Since the 2010 ERO review, centre managers have developed the outdoor area to give children further opportunities to engage in purposeful activity. The centre is working towards becoming an Enviroschool, with a focus on building children’s understanding about how to support environmental sustainability.

The centre owner is a teaching leader and mentors others within the Montessori system. The centre continues to be well managed. Most staff are qualified teachers and also hold Montessori qualifications. Koru Montessori has been selected as a pilot centre for the Montessori Journey for Excellence - Te Ara ki Huhuatanga

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy is strongly reflected in all aspects of its operations. Well considered management and leadership processes have been established. High quality documentation supports these processes and is used to guide centre operations.

The programme is founded on Montessori method and principles and influenced by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. Children’s interests are becoming increasingly evident in planning and assessment documentation. Electronic systems give parents more opportunities to contribute to records of their child’s learning and development.

Children are confident and capable, showing respect and courtesy to their peers and adults. They are offered a choice of activities and opportunities for leadership in a well resourced Montessori learning environment. Improved resourcing in the outdoors provides natural science and outdoor education opportunities. Staff enable children to make sense of the natural, physical, social and material worlds. Developing children’s literacy and mathematical knowledge is an integral part of everyday activities.

Teachers are respectful, professional and interact positively with children. They are willing to listen, and children are treated with dignity. Parents appreciate being kept well informed and value teachers’ responsiveness to their feedback.

The centre has a strong culture of self review with a focus on continual improvement. Parents value being consulted on matters of importance in relation to the centre and their children. Annual planning clearly identifies priorities and associated goals towards achieving centre managers’ vision for the service.

The centre owner provides strong professional leadership that supports teachers in implementing the Montessori philosophy. She builds staff leadership capability effectively at all levels.

Key Next Steps

The centre owner and ERO agree the teaching team could consider:

  • how effectively staff use children's portfolios to recognise and respond to children’s home languages and cultures
  • using Ministry of Education resources to enhance bicultural practices in the centre
  • documenting long-term plans that would support the ongoing development of the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

26 June 2013

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


Sunnynook, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 15

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

Choose an item.


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

26 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2010


As Wee Wisdom Montessori

Education Review

April 2007


Education Review

April 2004

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.