Peninsula Montessori Pre-School - 17/04/2015

1 Evaluation of Peninsula Montessori Pre-School

How well placed is Peninsula Montessori Pre-School 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

Peninsula Montessori Pre-School is a privately owned centre on Auckland’s Te Atatu Peninsula. It is licensed to provide sessional and all day education and care for up to 22 children from the age of two years. The centre philosophy reflects the Maria Montessori approach to early childhood education. Well organised Montessori equipment provides a prescribed pathway for children to master specific skills and concepts.

The owner, an experienced Montessori educator, has operated the centre for the past 15 years. The head teacher, who is fully registered and also Montessori trained has been in the centre for just over three years. She leads the team of three, including one other fully registered and Montessori trained teacher, and one teacher in training.

The 2012 ERO report acknowledged the centre’s strengths as partnerships with parents/whānau, the well resourced indoor environment, and the children’s strong sense of wellbeing. Areas for development included the need to review centre routines, to improve self review and the resourcing in the outdoor environment. Some of these areas have been addressed.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly when they arrive. They work quietly by themselves or happily together with friends, accessing activities and resources independently. They confidently follow centre expectations and are becoming self managing and independent.

Parents/whānau are warmly welcomed into the centre and are invited to learn about the Montessori approach through parent evenings. They make valued contributions to the programme, particularly through cultural celebrations, which are a feature of the centre programme. The teaching team is responsive to parent feedback gathered through regular surveys.

Learning programmes are enhanced by links with the local community. A close relationship with the local school helps to support successful transitions for children. Networks are also established with other local early childhood services. These relationships support ongoing professional learning for teachers.

The team is committed to developing an environment that reflects Māori culture and supports Māori children’s learning and wellbeing. Children experience te reo and Māoritanga as part of their daily activities. Respect for Papatuanuku is encouraged as they enjoy the gardens, centre pets and outdoor exploration. Ongoing investment in the development of the outdoor environment is planned to include added physical challenge to enhance children’s learning.

The daily routine provides long periods for children to engage in uninterrupted play. Teachers are attentive and respectful of children’s learning. They should now consider how more skilful interactions and questioning could bring more complexity to children’s learning. Teachers should also consider giving greater emphasis to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. This would help teachers to provide more opportunities for children to develop high level imaginative play and creative thinking, and engage in active exploration.

Children’s portfolios provide parents with information about the planned programme and aspects of children’s learning. Teachers have introduced a system of recording children’s mastery of skills. Improved planning, assessment and programme evaluation would help teachers to give more emphasis in their practice to individual children’s interests, strengths and abilities.

Teachers work well together. They value each other’s strengths and are open to new learning. The performance of teachers is regularly appraised and this includes some elements of self reflection. Appraisal processes could be improved if teachers established a shared understanding of excellent teaching and were given constructive feedback about their practice.

The centre has sound policies and procedures to guide its operations. Policies are regularly reviewed. This process could be strengthened by ensuring key policies are implemented, such as those relating to programme planning, assessment and evaluation.

Key Next Steps

ERO recommends that the owner and teachers enhance:

  • the quality of programme planning, assessment, and evaluation
  • teaching practice so it is better aligned with current educational theory
  • teacher performance appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Peninsula Montessori Pre-School 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.

To improve current practice, the owner should ensure the centre curriculum is more consistent with the Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Peninsula Montessori Pre-School will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 April 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

Te Atatu, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10185

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

22 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

30

Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 13

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

other

8

15

3

2

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

April 2009

 

Education Review

May 2006

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.