Levin Montessori - 09/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Levin Montessori

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Levin Montessori is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Levin Montessori is a privately owned centre located on the rural outskirts of Levin. It is one of several operating under the service provider G. Williams Daycare Limited. The service is licensed for up to thirty children aged over two years. Of the total roll of 48, eight are Māori.

The centre philosophy highlights the importance of a rich, diverse, resourceful and reflective learning environment. It articulates the underlying values of respect for all, each other, the environment and whānau.

ERO's November 2016 evaluation identified the following areas for improvement: implementing deliberate strategies responsive to individual children's emerging interests and learning; and continuing to improve internal evaluation systems to enhance outcomes for children. These areas have been strengthened by staff.

All teachers hold early childhood and Montessori teaching qualifications and current practising certificates. The visiting teacher provides regular support and guidance to an established team.

Levin Montessori is part of Paipoko Kāhui Ako.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children demonstrate a sense of belonging as confident, competent learners. The rich curriculum highlights literacy, mathematics, the creative arts, science and nature. Well-resourced indoor and outdoor spaces invite exploration and wonderment. The programme is underpinned by Montessori philosophy and Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum.

Children experience a welcoming, inclusive environment with a calm and peaceful tone. They confidently lead their own learning.

Effective leadership of assessment and planning guides teaching and learning. Teachers skilfully use a range of practices and strategies to engage children in purposeful learning opportunities. Children actively engage in a varied range of planned and spontaneous learning. Their thinking and language is extended through sustained interactions with supportive adults.

Learning profiles are attractive records of children's learning, continuity and progression over time. Individual plans and stories show the breadth of children's experiences, incorporating Te Whāriki and the Montessori curriculum. Parent aspirations and children's voice inform their learning narratives. Leaders identify that further refining assessment practices is needed. ERO's evaluation confirms this ongoing focus.

Te ao Māori is authentically interwoven through te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and centre life. Māori symbols and natural resources enrich the environment. Māori expertise informs the programme to enhance experiences for children.

Transition into the centre is managed with care. Staff collaborate with schools through the Kāhui Ako to promote smooth transitions to school.

Effective governance and management practices improve the quality of teaching outcomes for children. A well-established organisational culture supports ongoing improvement and builds high quality professional practice. The appraisal framework supports teachers to grow their knowledge and skills.

Well-led internal evaluations clearly focus on strengthening teachers' practices and improving outcomes for children, families and whānau. The process is systematic, collaborative and informs meaningful change. Review for improvement and accountability is well established.

Key Next Steps

The centre's next steps are to continue to use effective internal evaluation practice to know how the changes to assessment and planning have improved outcomes for children and their families.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Levin 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

9 August 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

Location

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

45712

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Female 25, Male 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

8
31
9

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

9 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

November 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.