Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten - 19/12/2014

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

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


Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten in Grey Lynn, Auckland is a well established, privately owned kindergarten. It provides all-day care and education for up to 30 children from two to six years of age. The majority of children enrolled are New Zealand European/Pākehā with small numbers who are Māori and of other ethnic backgrounds. The kindergarten roll is full and has a long waiting list.

Since ERO’s 2011 review, the centre has new owners. Extensive self review, community consultation and support from a professional consultant have informed strategic and annual plans. The centre’s environment has been modified both inside and outside, with a new playground and play resources providing a large variety of learning opportunities for children.

The kindergarten is led and managed by the owners, assistant manager and teachers. Regular professional guidance and support is provided for teachers.

The kindergarten’s philosophy, developed in consultation with the community and staff, provides a sound foundation for the programme and teaching practices. The philosophy aims to foster children’s development as competent, adaptive, open-minded and responsible citizens.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten’s philosophy and vision are well reflected in practice. The programme is based on the Montessori philosophy and is closely aligned to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Positive, respectful interactions characterise the relationships in the kindergarten. Children, parents/whānau are warmly received and welcomed. These relationships promote children’s respect of others and themselves and foster their sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Teachers use their knowledge of children and their families to engage children in meaningful conversations throughout the day. They talk freely with children, helping them develop their social skills, their language and their learning. Children engage in sustained collaborative play and show respect for one another while working in small groups. They are also taught how to deal with conflict and how to problem solve together. These strategies promote the development of children’s independence and self-management skills.

The well designed curriculum supports children’s overall development and learning. It provides them with extensive opportunities to investigate, initiate their own learning and be imaginative and creative. Children have daily opportunities to develop early skills in reading, writing and mathematics through integrated approaches. Equipment is available in small kete strategically positioned around the environment to provoke children’s mathematical conversations and learning. Teachers create projects with children around real life and science experiences. They provide opportunities for children to learn Spanish and engage in perceptual motor and music programmes.

Teachers demonstrate a commitment to implementing a bicultural curriculum and a tutor /parent supports the use of te reo Māori with children and teachers. The kindergarten acknowledges the place that Māori have as tangata whenua and will continue to develop more in-depth knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. They also plan to recognise and respond to children’s diverse cultural identities.

Records of children’s learning are visible in portfolios, displays and weekly newsletters. The portfolios are accessible for children and their whānau. There is very good information available for parents about the programme and their children’s learning. Children’s strengths and interests are identified and records show the complexity and deeper levels of their developing skills and dispositions. Parent feedback is also documented and acknowledged. These approaches help teachers to provide a comprehensive curriculum that is relevant for children and their families. Transition practices for supporting children’s transition into the kindergarten and to local schools are well developed.

The kindergarten benefits from highly capable leadership and collaborative team work. Teachers work well together. Leaders and teachers participate in high quality and ongoing professional development to provide best practice in early childhood education. They make effective use of updated information and research. They reflect as a team and want to continue to deepen teacher’s inquiry into their individual practices. These approaches will enable staff to continue providing high quality care and education for children.

The manager and leadership team maintain knowledgeable and capable oversight of kindergarten operations. The policy framework and management planning are sound. Self review is rigorous, systematic and well documented. The manager and teachers undertake in-depth review focused on improvement at all levels of the kindergarten’s operations and invite parent contributions and feedback.

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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

19 December 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


Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28

Girls 19

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā




Other European









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011


Education Review

August 2008


Supplementary Review

August 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.