Luna Montessori Preschool - 11/09/2018

1 Evaluation of Luna Montessori Preschool

How well placed is Luna Montessori Preschool 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.

Background

Luna Montessori is a privately owned and operated centre in Glenfield. The centre opened in 2016 and provides for up to 30 children over two years of age. It operates in a renovated family home.

The service attracts families from the surrounding suburbs. The majority of children are Asian. Three of the seven staff are registered teachers, including the newly appointed head teacher who supports the owner/centre manager with overseeing the curriculum.

The owners provide a framework of policies, procedures and guiding documents. The centre's philosophy indicates an intention to support children's learning and development in a caring, respectful environment. The curriculum is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, as well as the Montessori approach to learning.

This is the centre's first ERO review.

The Review Findings

Children have positive relationships with adults and with each other. They interact confidently and play well together in small groups. Children are familiar with most routines and expectations. Staff provide a welcoming environment. They are warm and friendly, and show enthusiasm in their work with children.

The centre is a spacious, well-organised learning environment. Montessori learning areas are well defined, resources are attractively displayed, and most traditional play areas are accessible to children. Children are able to eat morning snacks at their leisure. This supports children's independence and allows for prolonged periods of uninterrupted play.

Staff work closely with small informal groups of children during Montessori work periods. They have different strengths and strategies to engage children. Staff provide opportunities for children to take leadership roles, and they listen to their contributions and respond with interest. As a result, children are learning to cooperate and are becoming familiar with working in a group.

Children enjoy the relaxed nature of the afternoon programme. This period is focused on opportunities for children to pursue their own interests. Children engage independently in sand, water and social play with more purpose and interest.

Recognition of culture is a strength of the programme. High quality Montessori resources, displays and the cultural dimension of the Montessori philosophy provide the basis for respecting and valuing difference. A programme theme featuring cultural celebrations has enabled children to learn about aspects of different cultures. The environment creates a sense of belonging for the centre community.

Staff include some waiata, te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. They have undertaken professional development to help them to enhance this aspect of the programme. Staff are developing relationships with local kaumātua. The centre celebrates Pacific language weeks, and has recently worked with a local aoga amata to share ideas about their cultural learning programme and values.

Staff record highlights of the programme each day under both Te Whāriki and Montessori headings. These notes provide good information about activities for parents, and serve as prompts for staff when they evaluate the programme. Teachers have yet to plan for or evaluate learning outcomes for individual children. A clearer focus on children's interests, strengths, dispositions and progress over time, would help teachers to improve records of children's learning.

The centre is well managed. The managers have a variety of skills and knowledge to support centre operations, and are focused on promoting positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The centre managers and head teacher agree that useful next steps to strengthen the programme for children include:

  • continuing to improve assessment practices and documentation for individual children

  • developing a shared understanding of Te Whāriki, and current educational theories and practices

  • evaluating the effectiveness of programme provision, particularly for boys, and children under three years.

In order to strengthen governance and management practices, leaders should:

  • align strategic and annual plans, and monitor progress towards strategic goals

  • provide clarity and support around the head teacher's role as curriculum manager

  • consult with teachers and parents to refine strategic planning and identify priorities for the annual plan

  • provide professional development for all teachers to build their capacity to fully implement Te Whāriki.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

11 September 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

Location

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

47033

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll

36

Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Asian
other ethnic groups

3
27
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

11 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.