Mana Montessori Preschool Inc - 04/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Mana Montessori Preschool Inc

How well placed is Mana Montessori Preschool Inc 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.


Mana Montessori Inc is governed by a parent committee and caters for children aged from two and a half to six years of age. The purpose-built building includes spacious rooms for two mixed age groups. The preschool has been established for 25 years and is open from 8.45am to 3.00 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45 am to 11.45 am on Fridays. The preschool is licensed for 50 children of a range of ethnicities.

Most teachers are long serving and all have specialist training and in-depth knowledge of Montessori principles and practices.

Teachers have reviewed their practice related to the 2012 ERO review and continue to develop high quality processes. The preschool has a good ERO reporting history.

The Review Findings

The preschool’s philosophy is a thoughtful blend of the Montessori approach and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. This philosophy is clearly evident in practice. A key priority for teachers is to provide an environment that allows children to explore independently. The outdoor area has been recently redeveloped to be stimulating, natural, attractive and purposefully prepared.

The 2015 strategic and annual plans are consistent with the philosophy and support Montessori education.

Teachers promote an appropriate focus on environmental education, and children are encouraged to learn about sustainable practice and caring for the natural world. Risk taking is promoted, within a supportive structure, and children are challenged both physically and through their exploration.

Children move freely between indoors and outdoors. The indoor environment is well planned, stimulating and resources facilitate the learning of literacy, mathematics and science. There are opportunities for imaginative play and for children to learn at their own pace. Children are confident, capable and happy. They explore, investigate and interact positively.

Teachers nurture a love of learning. They notice and respond to children's interests and experiences. Children’s strengths are recognised and individual planning supports their ongoing development. Records of learning are well presented in profile books. Children are proud of their books. They regularly revisit and share with peers and parents the wide range of experiences provided.

There is a strong commitment to implementing a bicultural curriculum. A tutor is inspiring the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori for both teachers and children. Te reo Māori is comfortably used and parents report that they are learning language and waiata from their children.

Communication and engagement with families is strong, with many opportunities for parents and whānau to meet for social and educational purposes.

The preschool benefits from highly capable leadership and collaborative team work. All roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and enacted.

Through a revised performance appraisal, teachers reflect and document success and next steps in relation to improving practice.

The head of school and each head of class maintain knowledge and capable oversight of preschool operations. Staff and committee members all participate in the well-structured and systematic, evaluative self-review process. Outcomes affirm good practice or lead to positive changes.

Overall, effective operation promotes positive outcomes for children’s learning and wellbeing. Mana Montessori Preschool’s committee and teachers seek continuous improvement. The centre's own embedded, evaluative review affirms their high quality early childhood provision.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mana Montessori Preschool Inc 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 Mana Montessori Preschool Inc will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

4 June 2015

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


Whitby, Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 26; Girls 23

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other European





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

4 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

August 2012


Education Review

November 2008


Education Review

July 2005

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.