Shaken Oak Montessori - 27/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Shaken Oak Montessori

How well placed is Shaken Oak Montessori 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.


Shaken Oak Montessori, in Feilding, is a privately owned Montessori early childhood centre. It is licensed to cater for 41 children, including five aged up to two years. One of the two owners is responsible for managing the centre and also leading teaching and learning.

Children participate in a range of learning experiences closely aligned to the Montessori learning approach. In 2018, the Bambini (junior) and Casa (older children) classes will be merged. This should support a unified, centre wide community and teaching team and also allow space for the planned, dedicated art space and reading zone.

Since the August 2014 ERO report, teachers have successfully built their knowledge of te ao Māori and whānau aspirations to enable more effective support of Māori learners. In addition, regular self review is in place, supporting curriculum development to improve outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

A calm and purposeful environment effectively supports children's independence, creativity and development as learners. It provides challenge and enables children to explore, investigate and discover both individually and in groups.

The programme is based on learning through interesting work, within a Montessori framework. Literacy, mathematics, science, practical skills and understanding are key areas of focus. Easy access to a range of learning materials successfully promotes children's learning.

Children are respected as capable and confident learners. Teachers are responsive to children’s interests and readiness for learning. Children enthusiastically take on leadership roles within learning activities. Regular constructive feedback affirms their efforts and successes. Children are well supported by teachers to extend their learning.

Children in the Bambini section experience a caring environment. Trusting relationships are developed by teachers with the young children and parents. Transitions into Bambini and then later to the Casa class are carefully considered, in collaboration with parents, to ensure the shift is timely and children feel secure within their new environment. 

Detailed observation supports teachers to know and understand each child, what they can do and what their interests are. Each child’s progress in key learning areas is documented. Teacher inquiry and reflection on children’s learning informs changes and improvements to teaching strategies and set up of the environment.

Children extend their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori through regular use of te reo Māori, waiata and karakia. Teachers are more effectively responding to the aspirations of Māori whānau for their tamariki. Continuing to strengthen teacher knowledge of Māori language, culture and identity is a priority in the annual plan. 

Opportunities are provided for parents to extend understanding of and share their children's learning. An online programme is allowing them to become increasingly involved in their child's learning.

Successful transitions onto school are well supported by effective partnerships between families and schools. The centre actively promotes regular connections with local primary schools.

The appraisal process promotes ongoing teacher improvement. Individual reflections and leader feedback focus on outcomes for learners. An annual summary should be developed that clearly indicates whether the teacher’s practice satisfactorily meets all of the Standards for the Teaching Profession (Our Standards) and also identifies areas of strength and areas for future development.

The lead teacher provides effective support for maintaining a positive Montessori learning environment and the building of teacher capability to enhance learning for children. Expected practices are well known by teachers. Professional learning involvement supports teachers to further build their understanding of Montessori philosophy and bicultural responsiveness.

Self review is effectively used to inform consideration of effectiveness and contribute to improved outcomes for children. The strategic plan clearly identifies the service’s priorities and associated annual goals. It links closely to the Montessori approach, identified key social skills, biculturalism and developing close partnerships with parents and whānau as priorities for improvement.

Key Next Steps

Shaken Oak Montessori and ERO agree that the key next steps are to continue to strengthen:

  • parent involvement in children's learning and centre strategic decision making
  • teacher appraisal to support ongoing development
  • the extent to which self review focuses on how well teacher practices are supporting outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Shaken Oak Montessori 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 Shaken Oak Montessori will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 February 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

41 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26, Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

27 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

February 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 whānaungatanga – 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.