Remuera Montessori Ltd - 21/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Remuera Montessori Ltd

How well placed is Remuera Montessori Ltd 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

Remuera Montessori Ltd is an early childhood education and care centre located in Remuera, Auckland. Children and families come from a diverse range of local and international backgrounds to attend this service as it offers the Montessori learning approach. The centre was previously known as Remuera Discovery Montessori.

The service is now owned by a family-based company that purchased the centre in 2017 and changed the name of the licence. Two owners are involved in the day-to-day organisation of the centre. One, the centre manager, who is a qualified early childhood teacher, leads the development of teaching and learning. The other owner manages administration, property, health and safety and finance.

The centre's vision merges Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum with the Montessori philosophy. The resulting programmes encourage and support children's personal development, critical thinking and creativity.

The centre is licensed for 30 children over the age of two years and offers a full day programme. Children play together in a mixed-age environment under the care of a centre manager, one head teacher and three qualified teachers.

This is the first ERO review of Remuera Montessori Ltd.

The Review Findings

Inclusive relationships between child, teacher and family support children's wellbeing and sense of belonging. Centre staff are working positively to develop effective partnerships with families that promote and develop good quality early childhood learning in a Montessori setting.

The centre's curriculum and well-resourced learning environment support children to learn collaboratively through play, structured learning, exploration and investigation. The range of learning experiences on offer promotes children's cognitive development through thinking challenges and problem solving. There are many opportunities for children to play freely and express their creativity. Early literacy and numeracy skills are skilfully integrated into children's play and learning by capable teachers.

Teachers have a high level of respect for children as competent learners. They listen carefully to children's voice, value their ideas, and support them to choose the direction of their daily activities. They extend children's thinking through open-ended questioning and prompt them to select their own learning resources.

The centre manager and teachers are committed to supporting the partnership in The Treaty of Waitangi and all staff engage with te ao me te reo Māori. Centre investigations and learning displays reflect bicultural New Zealand and the other cultures of children who attend the service. Home languages are supported and affirmed by teaching staff to strengthen children's learning and sense of identity.

Teachers use assessment and planning practice that responds effectively to what they notice about each child. Staff document and record individual and group interests. They work closely with children to help them extend and evolve their interests and inquiries. Teachers also plan deliberately for dispositions development within the curriculum to further enable individual children's progress. They share this information with families through learning stories, conversations and a parent portal to an online platform. This encourages parents to participate in their children's learning pathways.

The centre is developing a sound professional culture for staff to work efficiently and effectively as a team. Teachers are led by a capable head teacher. She is very experienced in early childhood educational practice and has qualifications in Montessori theory. The centre manager leads by example and demonstrates high quality leadership traits.

A useful relationship is now established between the centre and a local primary school with a Montessori unit. The resulting mentoring processes ensure that teachers are well supported to keep their Montessori practice current. Teacher appraisal systems are currently being evaluated. This will help to ensure teachers meet the current requirements of the Education Council regarding renewal of their practising certificates.

Centre leaders are working towards the careful implementation of all key centre systems and operations. They focus on continuous improvement and seek out best practice models and early childhood research to guide the centre's direction and development.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the next phase of centre development should prioritise:

  • the formulation of a strategic plan for the next three years

  • continuing the centre's focus on evaluation and review

  • continuing to develop teachers' performance management and appraisal systems.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Remuera Montessori Ltd 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 Remuera Montessori Ltd will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 June 2018

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

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20144

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

26

Gender composition

Boys 20 Girls 6

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Asian
other

8
17
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

21 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.