Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten - 05/07/2019

1 Evaluation of Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten

How well placed is Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten is a well-established centre that provides all-day education and care for up to 30 children from two to six years of age. Children on the roll relate to a wide range of cultural backgrounds, including Māori and Pacific.

The centre's philosophy is based on a blend of the teachings of Maria Montessori and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Centre leaders describe their approach to Montessori-based education as flexible and focused on learning that is relevant to the children at the centre. Children learn in a mixed-age setting that has Montessori equipment and other resources to support children's learning through play.

The manager, a qualified teacher and owner of the centre, is supported by an assistant professional leader. The staff are well qualified and from diverse cultural backgrounds. All staff provide leadership in aspects of centre operations.

The 2014 ERO report commented positively on respectful relationships and interactions, the broad curriculum, management and leadership, and the centre's commitment to biculturalism. Teachers were working on strengthening inquiry into their own practice and their responses to children's cultures. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children continue to benefit from learning in a supportive environment. For much of the day they are free to enjoy learning experiences that are interesting and challenging. They are encouraged to be self-managing, take risks with their learning, and develop social skills. They understand the expectations and routines of the programme.

Children have many opportunities and very good support to develop skills and knowledge in all curriculum areas. Their literacy and numeracy learning happen in the context of play. They enjoy sharing books with teachers and other children. The centre makes use of community expertise to offer children a wide variety of learning experiences.

The physical environment is well resourced and maintained. Teachers help children access resources to extend their interests and promote their learning. Children are able to make choices about where they play, with easy access to the inside and outside areas.

Teachers know the children and their families very well. A recent focus on children's languages and cultures has increased teachers' knowledge of children's lives outside of the centre and what is important to each family. Teachers provide support for whānau through challenging times. Children with additional needs are well supported.

The centre has a strong commitment to providing a bicultural curriculum and employs a part-time coach to help strengthen the use of te reo Māori. Te reo is evident in the learning environment and at mat times. Staff could now consider how to increase its inclusion in other parts of the programme.

Teachers value and effectively support outcomes that enable children to successfully transition to school. They interact with children in ways that encourage them to be curious and respectful. They foster perseverance, resilience and a love of learning. Teachers have developed relationships with local schools, and there is effective sharing of information with schools and families.

Teachers are strengthening processes for assessing and planning for individual children. They are exploring new ways to document individual learning plans that include teachers' inquiry into the impact of their intentional teaching strategies.

While the centre's education philosophy is under review, the current document has a clear vision and identifies the valued outcomes for children. A sound policy framework provides guidance for teachers and centre operations.

The centre is well led. There is a focus on ongoing learning and improvement that is supported by effective systems. Internal evaluation is used effectively to review centre operations.

Teachers engage in relevant and significant professional learning and development, and ongoing professional discussions inform their practice. The teacher appraisal system has been strengthened. All teachers have opportunities to take leadership roles and to learn about all aspects of centre operations.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include strengthening the gathering and recording of evidence of teachers' reflections, as part of their appraisals and goal setting for continual improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

5 July 2019

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

Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20443

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 2 aged under 2

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Girls 23 Boys 19

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups

2
29
11

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

5 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

August 2008

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.