Marshwood Montessori Preschool - 14/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Marshwood Montessori Preschool

How well placed is Marshwood 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

Marshwood Montessori Pre-school in Glendowie, provides early childhood education and care for up to 40 children from two to six years of age. Children and families have the option of sessional or full day participation. The owner’s longstanding commitment to operating a learning programme that combines Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Montessori philosophy is still a strong feature of the centre.

The centre has a high adult-to-child ratio. Children are grouped into two mixed-age rooms, with a shared outdoor play area. The centre serves a culturally diverse community with the bigger groups being NZ European/Pākehā and Chinese. Teachers are well qualified and reflect the diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds of children and families.

The centre owner provides leadership for the centre, and has responsibility for management and administration systems, including a framework of policies and procedures. She works collaboratively with staff to review and refine governance, management and administration systems and processes.

The 2011 ERO report commented positively about the centre’s responsive and skilful teaching, and the encouragement given for children to be independent, confident and capable learners. It also affirmed the respectful and reciprocal relationships with parents, the collaborative team culture and the way that the curriculum was extending children’s learning in meaningful and stimulating ways. These positive features are still evident in the centre. Areas for development and review identified in the 2011 report included the use of group learning times and practices related to programme evaluation, self review and teacher appraisal. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled in the centre. They have warm and trusting relationships with adults and interact confidently with their friends. Children know about making choices, are able to lead their own learning and independently select resources. Of particular note are children’s independence and self management skills.

Teachers have a genuine respect for children. They know children well and model respect for children’s space, learning and choices of play. Early literacy, mathematics and science concepts are well integrated into children’s play. Teachers skilfully follow children’s lead and support them in their play. There is a good balance between teachers responding to and supporting children’s interests, and teachers guiding learning. Teachers have broad knowledge of children’s learning, and of their cognitive and developmental stages.

Teachers have reviewed and improved planning and assessment practices so that they focus more on children’s individual interests and learning. Good processes are in place for noticing, recognising and responding to children’s interests. Teachers observe and identify the emerging interests and themes evident in children's play. This enables them to plan activities and provide opportunities that are relevant for children. Clear links to Te Whāriki and childrens’ aptitudes for learning are evident in learning stories. Teachers are now evaluating programmes regularly.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. Teachers provide many opportunities for families to participate in the programme, contribute to reviews and be aware of their children’s progress. Teachers have many formal and informal discussions with parents and whānau. Parents also discuss and have input into learning stories and portfolios. Parents report that they appreciate the quality of education and care that is provided for their children. They also appreciate that teachers listen to their aspirations and respond to their children’s strengths.

The learning environments are attractive, inviting and well resourced. There is a wide range of traditional early childhood play areas, as well as Montessori resources. Resources and play equipment are easily accessible for children, and curriculum areas are set up to support children’s independent and self managing skills. The owner and teachers have plans in place to review and improve the outdoor environment.

The owner has a collaborative leadership style and all staff members are encouraged to contribute to decision making about the centre, future planning and practices. Internal professional learning and development includes professional readings and discussion to build teacher capability. The owner would like to access external professional learning and development in leadership to build leadership capability within the centre. This worthwhile goal should promote centre sustainability over time.

The owner has a clear vision for the centre. Strategic and annual plans are well developed, well aligned and identify key priorities for future development. The measurable outcomes and indicators of success for strategic and annual goals help increase the clarity and rigour of self-review processes. In 2014, staff undertook professional learning and development in self review. They are now using self review well to promote positive outcomes for children, and have established good systems for documenting self review.

Key Next Steps

The owner agrees that key next steps for centre development include:

  • increasing the use of open-ended questions to further challenge children’s thinking and develop their problem solving skills
  • specifying children’s learning outcomes in programme planning, together with the teaching strategies that will be used to help children achieve these outcomes
  • strengthening programme evaluation by reviewing the effectiveness of teaching practice in helping children achieve learning outcomes
  • using observational evidence aligned with the practising teacher criteria in the teacher appraisal process to promote consistent understanding about and expectations for teaching.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 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

Location

Glendowie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20581

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 26 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

African

British/Irish

Japanese

Latin American

other

2

15

10

4

3

2

2

10

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

14 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011

 

Education Review

April 2008

 

Education Review

June 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.