Montessori@Kilbirnie - 19/02/2014

1 Background


A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Montessori@Kilbirnie governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the October 2012 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • curriculum leadership, management and implementation
  • staff appraisal
  • self review.

2 Evaluation Findings


Montessori@Kilbirnie is owned and managed by Kidicorp Limited. The centre has experienced considerable staff turnover over the past few years. The October 2012 ERO report indicated it was at the very early stages of developing its capacity to promote and sustain positive outcomes for children. There was a need to:

  • provide non-Montessori trained teachers with opportunities to develop their knowledge to help them extend children’s learning experiences through a Montessori approach
  • improve programme planning, assessment and implementation
  • develop bicultural practices and opportunities for Māori children to succeed as Māori
  • improve provision for children with additional needs
  • develop and implement staff appraisal
  • strengthen self review.

Kidicorp’s managers, one of whom has Montessori qualifications, worked with the teaching team to develop an action plan to address the areas for improvement identified in the 2012 ERO report. Since that time there have been further staff changes, including the appointment of a new centre manager.

Areas of progress

  • The teaching team has had recent opportunities to improve its understanding of Maria Montessori’s approach to teaching and learning. These have been through:
  • support provided by Kidicorp managers for the centre manager and head teacher
  • the teaching team’s attendance at the Montessori Association of New Zealand conference
  • initial discussions about the draft ‘Journey to Excellence’ document that includes indicators of effective practices in a Montessori setting.

The centre manager is experienced and committed to further enhancing outcomes for children.

Some improvements to programme planning, assessment and implementation are evident. Teachers are:

  • improving communication with parents and whānau and talking about the aspirations they have for their children
  • actively noticing children’s interests and responding more deliberately to them through the programme
  • making programme planning more visible for parents and whānau through wall displays
  • improving the quality of children’s learning stories displayed on the planning board and in children’s portfolios
  • having more meaningful learning conversations with some individuals and groups of children during the daily sessions
  • engaging in professional discussion about their teaching practices at staff meetings.

Kidicorp has further developed and implemented a well-designed and useful process for appraising centre managers, head teachers and teachers. It is linked to the teacher registration criteria and gives stronger focus to supporting teachers’ growth and development. Management and teachers appraise themselves against the criteria, receive feedback about their teaching practices and set goals for improvement.

The teaching team has participated in a series of workshops facilitated by Kidicorp’s Professional Services Manager (PSM) to help gain an understanding of the self-review process. Teachers have undertaken some initial reviews related to centre priorities.

Areas for further improvement

Kidicorp’s PSM has undertaken a thorough internal review of the progress made to address the areas identified for improvement in the 2012 ERO report. ERO’s evaluation supports these findings. It is acknowledged that progress to date has been limited, due to staff changes. There is need to provide the teaching team with ongoing, targeted professional development to:

  • improve programme planning, assessment and implementation, with particular emphasis given to the Montessori approach and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • build teachers’ understanding of, and confidence in, using te reo me ngā tikanga Māori to enrich the programme
  • gain shared understandings about how to engage with Māori whānau to help their children succeed as Māori
  • support teachers to enhance the programme for children with additional needs, including those who are up to two years old.

The revised appraisal process has the potential to support teacher development by maximising its use. Including centre-wide goals should help support continuous improvement.

Self review remains at the early stage of development. The teaching team has yet to gain a shared understanding of planned and spontaneous reviews to help improve the quality of all aspects of the centre’s operation over time. Including good quality indicators against which to measure progress is likely to further enhance the review process.

In order to further develop, embed and sustain high quality teaching practices, there is an urgent need to:

  • maintain stability of staffing
  • continue to provide an ongoing centre-wide professional learning and development programme for the teaching team
  • foster knowledgeable and shared leadership
  • develop teachers' knowledge of good quality self review and use it to continually enhance outcomes for children.

3 Key next step

ERO recommends that centre leaders and managers develop an action plan to show how the areas for improvement identified in this report, together with those identified by Kidicorp managers, will be addressed. This plan should include specific, measurable objectives for centre-wide development and quality indicators against which to monitor and review progress.

4 Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next review of Montessori@Kilbirniewill be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

19 February 2014

Information about the Service


Kilbirnie, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All day Education and Care

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20, Girls 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Other European

Other ethnic groups




Percentage of qualified teachers


Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

19 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2001

September 2009

October 2012