Montessori Childrens House - Wellington - 04/04/2014

1 Evaluation of Montessori Childrens House - Wellington

How well placed is Montessori Childrens House - Wellington 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

Montessori Childrens House is a privately owned early childhood centre in Miramar. It opens five days a week and is licensed for 30 children, aged over two years. Those attending live in the local area and come from a range of cultural backgrounds. A few are speakers of other languages, learning English for the first time.

The centre has changed ownership since the December 2010 ERO report. One of the owners manages the centre and a lead teacher is responsible for overseeing the daily programme. The teaching team has worked together for some years. They are all qualified, registered teachers. A new part-time teacher has just joined the team.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. The philosophy statement highlights a commitment to the Montessori approach and to the principles, strands and goals of Te Whāriki, the national early childhood curriculum. Key beliefs outlined in the centre’s philosophy are the importance of:

  • strong relationships between staff, parents and children
  • responsiveness to the different cultures and heritages of families
  • biculturalism
  • the provision of an environment designed to foster children’s independence, responsibility, selfworth and identify, where they are supported to explore, learn and discover.

The Review Findings

There is a strong commitment to the centre’s philosophy. Since the previous ERO review, considerable time was taken to review this statement in consultation with staff, parents and children. As a result it is owned, well understood by the community and evident in practice. A special cloak, that includes a feather made by each family, hangs in the centre. It is worn to celebrate special occasions and represents a real sense of belonging.

The centre manager and teachers know the children and their families well. New children are well supported as they settle in. Teachers are interested in knowing the aspirations each family has for their child so they can weave these into the programme. Teachers value working in partnership with families to enhance learning opportunities for children.

Teachers work effectively as a team and are skilled at noticing, recognising and responding to children’s strengths, interests and abilities. Interactions are positive, caring and respectful. Teachers engage in natural conversations with children and often ask them questions to support their investigations, extend their thinking or to encourage problem solving. Children enjoy working independently, with a friend or as part of a group.

The environment supports children to explore, learn and discover. It is well presented and maintained. Children have ready access to a range of equipment and resources in the indoor and outside areas. Montessori materials are used to support children’s learning related to language development, knowledge of early numeracy ideas, food preparation and knowledge of the natural world and other countries.

Families receive good information about their child’s progress and achievements. They talk with teachers, read their child’s learning portfolio and attend meetings. Teachers are sensitive and responsive when helping children with a specific need, such as language development and learning English for the first time. They work in partnership with families and seek help from other agencies when appropriate.

Priority is given to continual improvement. Regular reviews are undertaken to gain information about things that are going well and areas that require further development. Through this process teachers are:

  • increasing their knowledge and confidence in using te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the programme
  • gathering useful information about how well they assess children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

The owner/manager and staff want to strengthen the review process. The key next steps are to:

  • decide on indicators of best practice at the beginning of each review against which to monitor progress, celebrate success and identify areas for improvement
  • prepare a useful action plan to show how these will be developed to improve outcomes for children.

This should help strengthen the cycle of review and development for all aspects of operation over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori Childrens House - Wellington 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 Montessori Childrens House - Wellington will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

4 April 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

Miramar, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60354

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2

Service roll

30

Gender composition

Girls 18,

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Other European

Asian

American

Assyrian

12

8

6

3

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8 in the morning 1:10 in the afternoon

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

4 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

December 2012

 

Education Review

December 2007

 

Education Review

April 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.