Maori Hill Montessori Preschool - 27/06/2014

1 Evaluation of Maori Hill Montessori Preschool

How well placed is Maori Hill 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

Māori Hill Montessori Pre-school is a small, privately owned Education and Care Service. It is licensed for 30 children from three-to-five plus years of age. The owner of the centre is the head teacher and she is assisted by a lead teacher.

Children’s learning is strongly based on the Montessori philosophy. This is very evident in the daily programmes and practices. Most of the teaching staff are Montessori trained and all are qualified teachers.

Children play and learn in a calm, respectful and positive environment. The centre has a very settled and stable parent community with most children attending the centre five days a week. The teachers welcome the cultural diversity of the children attending and provide programmes to meet their needs.

Children benefit from the wide range of Montessori experiences being offered. A specialist programme runs for older children three afternoons a week and on Friday mornings.

In 2013 the centre moved to new premises. The owner has thoughtfully renovated the building and included a well-designed indoor/outdoor environment.

Since the ERO report in 2011, the centre has made significant progress in developing its self-review, appraisal systems, and the bicultural dimension within the centre.

The Review Findings

Curriculum and Teaching and Learning

Children learn in a very supportive environment. They play and learn independently and are free to choose from a wide range of Montessori activities.

The programme has a strong focus on:

  • literacy and numeracy
  • grace and courtesy
  • caring for the centre and wider environment.

Teachers have carefully and thoughtfully designed the learning environment. It is attractive and well resourced. All children have easy access to the resources. Teachers have worked to make better links between the indoor and outdoor areas and the children’s play and learning flows well between these areas.

Teachers have common understandings about their approaches to teaching and learning. They effectively model calm and respectful relationships. Teachers know the children well and make time to spend with individual children. The well-established routines help children to be independent. Teachers have identified children who need extra support or extension and provide specific programmes for them.

The centre leaders maintain effective communication with parents. They have well developed formal systems for discussing parents’ aspirations for their children. They explain their approach to teaching and learning through education evenings for parents and explanations in children’s profile books. At their new site, teachers are building closer connections with the local community.

Effective assessment practices at the centre include:

  • learning records that give direction to the daily programme
  • tracking of children’s progression through Montessori learning activities
  • profile books that show a clear picture of what the children are learning within the Montessori programme.

Teachers consciously consider Māori perspectives in the daily programme. These are clearly visible in practice. Teachers have identified the need to increase the use of te reo Māori with children and adults throughout the day.

Leadership and Governance

The centre leaders foster a culture of collaboration and reflection. They are very committed to ongoing professional development and encourage and support the teachers to further develop their skills and knowledge. Teachers make effective use of the new knowledge they gain and share it with others.

There are well-developed and implemented management systems in place. The lead teacher keeps a detailed record of policies, programmes and planning meetings. The leaders and teachers have developed and begun to implement a robust appraisal process. The centre leaders seek support from outside agencies to address aspects of the centre’s management.

The centre’s strategic plan, vision and values clearly show what is important in the centre. They are based on the Montessori philosophy and integrate Te Whāriki principles and the concept of manaakitanga. The centre leaders consult regularly with parents about centre programmes and direction.

There has been significant progress in the development and implementation of self-review processes and practices. Self review brings in improved outcomes for children. There is a strong focus on continual improvement.

Key Next Steps

  • Leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that it is timely to make greater use of the principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki to further enrich the Montessori curriculum.
  • Leaders should review and develop the strategic plan to show specific goals for action over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Maori Hill Montessori Preschool completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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 Maori Hill Montessori Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

27 June 2014

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

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

65174

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 Children

Service roll

25

Gender composition

Boys: 13 Girls: 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Other

0

15

7

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

100%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

 
 

Over 2

1:8 am 1:6 pm

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

27 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 2011

 

Education Review

April 2007

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.