Titoki Montessori Pre-School - 23/10/2014

1. Evaluation of Titoki Montessori Pre-School

How well placed is Titoki 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

Titoki Montessori Pre-School in Torbay, Auckland, was established 25 years ago. It offers morning and afternoon sessions for up to 35 children from three to six years of age. The well established preschool operates from an Auckland Regional Council building in semi-rural surroundings.

The pre-school is governed by an elected management council made up of parents of the children enrolled. It is capably led by a head of school who works collaboratively with teachers, parents and children to ensure the smooth running of the preschool.

Children and teachers are from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The service provides a curriculum that adheres to the Montessori philosophy as well as Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The programme and resources are focused on guiding children to explore at their own pace and develop skills that enable them to be independent and socially competent learners.

The positive features of Titoki Montessori Pre-School that were acknowledged in ERO’s 2011 report continue to be evident. There has been very good progress made since that time. Ongoing improvements have enhanced children’s learning experiences and contribute to an improvement focused preschool that is providing a valuable service to families in its community.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and articulate. They settle quickly and make good choices about their learning and play. They respect each other and show care for others and for their environment. They demonstrate good social competence and display high levels of self help skills.

Children play and work both independently and in groups, with some showing the capacity to engage in sustained periods of extended play and work. They enjoy a strong sense of belonging and participate in lively and meaningful conversations with adults.

There is a good balance of child-initiated and teacher-guided learning. Teachers provide many experiences and resources that extend children’s understanding of concepts and processes. There is ample time for children to explore at their own pace and to revisit their learning. Children are encouraged to be self motivated, make decisions, and challenge themselves to accomplish difficult tasks.

The curriculum is skilfully developed to promote Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Montessori essential elements. Teachers work very well in a collaborative team to provide good quality outcomes for children. They plan for children’s interests and cater for their learning progress. Children’s learning journeys are recorded attractively in portfolios for parents. Parents contribute comments about children’s learning at home, which are also included in the portfolios. Plans are now underway to use more on-line communication with parents to further strengthen partnerships for learning between the pre-school and home.

The pre-school acknowledges the place that Māori have as tangata whenua and continues to develop its bicultural curriculum. Teachers have worked to gain more in-depth knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. Most teachers use te reo with children and aspects of tikanga, such as karakia and waiata, are incorporated in the daily programme. Strengthening the bicultural curriculum is a priority and the plan is to use the Ministry of Education resource, Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, in the appraisal process.

The head of school has developed good education and community networks and collaborates well with teachers, parents and children. Council members support teachers’ professional learning and staff are encouraged to attend pre-school based and national workshops, conferences and courses. Teachers use their learning to promote high quality practice and to build stronger relationships with children and their families and whānau. They take leadership roles in areas of interest and have opportunities to develop their strengths.

Staff undertake high levels of self review. Quality practice indicators provide clear criteria for teachers to review their effectiveness. Positive and professional dialogue has enabled them to make effective changes. Ongoing review of the charter continues to inform the preschool's strategic priorities and direction setting.

Key Next Steps

The head of school agrees that key next steps for the preschool are to continue to:

  • embed the effective practices to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • strengthen partnerships with parents to involve them more in the programme and their children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Titoki 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Titoki Montessori Pre-School will be in four years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 October 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

Location

Torbay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20173

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

23

Gender composition

Girls 12 Boys 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese/Pākehā

Indian/Pākehā

German

other

11

4

2

2

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

23 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2011

 

Education Review

June 2008

 

Education Review

June 2005

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.