BestStart Montessori The Children's House

Education institution number:
20066
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
53
Telephone:
Address:

1 Clover Drive, Henderson, Auckland

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BestStart Montessori The Children's House - 08/05/2020

1 Evaluation of BestStart Montessori The Children's House

How well placed is BestStart Montessori The Children's House to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Montessori The Children's House is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

BestStart Montessori The Children's House provides full-day education and care for 50 children between the ages of two to six years. It serves a culturally diverse community with a small percentage of Māori and Pacific children.

The centre is part of the BestStart charitable trust. The organisation has re-branded all its early learning services. BestStart provides an overarching governance and management framework to support operations and curriculum delivery in individual centres. Business Managers (BM) and Professional Services Managers (PSM) facilitate staff professional development and provide strategic guidance.

The curriculum is underpinned by the values of a Montessori approach to learning and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The centre philosophy views education to be a natural process for children. It offers student-centred lessons and activities. Children are considered hands-on active participants and learners.

ERO’s 2016 report noted teachers skilfully followed children in their play experiences. Children were confident to use their first language, as well as developing their English language skills. These strengths remain.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the BestStart Upper North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and know the centre routines well. They are confident and independent learners. Children have respectful and positive relationships with each other, their friends and teachers. The concept of tuakana/teina is evident in children's interactions that help to foster their social and emotional competency. Children demonstrate good social skills that encourage a strong sense of belonging in the centre.

Teachers promote children's language development. They empower children to take responsibility for their own and other children's wellbeing and the learning environment. Teachers are intentional in their teaching that involves child-adult initiated activities. They provide meaningful learning contexts for children to develop print awareness and alphabet knowledge.

The curriculum supports the Montessori philosophy and practice. There is alignment between Te Whāriki, and Montessori virtues. Assessment, planning and evaluation processes support children's progress over time. These are co-constructed between teachers, children and parents/whānau. Teachers discuss their teaching practices and draw on individual curriculum expertise. Numeracy and literacy are key features of the curriculum.

Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. This is supported through a pre-prepared learning environment and resources that challenge children's thinking. Children's learning portfolios acknowledge te reo Māori and children's home languages. Transitions between the home and rooms support children's settling-in process.

The centre values children's cultures through cultural performances, sharing food and celebrations as important aspects of the centre life. Teachers and centre staff play an important part in these celebrations. Parents and whānau are actively involved in cultural events.

The centre manager and leaders foster leadership, strengthening individual capability. This is building the teaching team's capacity. Leaders access and provide targeted professional learning, and development to improve positive outcomes for children. There are high levels of relational trust across the centre.

An appraisal process encourages teachers to evaluate their teaching practice and the impact on outcomes for children. Systems for internal evaluation guide and inform teaching and learning which results in improved practices to promote positive outcomes for children.

National, regional and centre operations are guided by strategic and annual plans, and a shared vision which monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. These are linked to BestStart strategic goals, which promote a sense of belonging to a wider learning community and support more widespread collaboration amongst teaching teams. Professional learning and development have a focus for building capabilities and has impacted positively on teaching practices. The service provides opportunities for leadership within the team.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager and leaders agree to:

  • build teachers' knowledge of tikanga Māori and bicultural practice

  • continue to strengthen the local curriculum making explicit links to learning that is valued within the centre context

  • further strengthen teachers' critical reflection to support changes, to teaching practice.

Agreed next steps for the organisation are to continue to strengthen:

  • bicultural understanding and practice

  • risk analysis management systems, processes and procedures for excursions

  • appraisal processes to support teachers’ continuum of professional knowledge and practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Montessori The Children's House 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 - Te Tai Raki

8 May 2020

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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20066

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
other ethnic groups

5
11
25
9
7

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2020

Date of this report

8 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

June 2010

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.

Montessori @ The Childrens House - 16/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Montessori @ The Children's House

How well placed is Montessori @ The Children's House 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

Montessori @The Children's House is licensed for up to 50 children and serves the culturally diverse communities surrounding Henderson, West Auckland. It is part of the BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation, which provides an overarching governance and management framework, as well as personnel to support individual centres.

The centre provides for children in two rooms; Ruma Iti for toddlers, and Ruma Nui for children up to school age. A centre manager and a head teacher provide leadership in the centre and are supported by the BestStart professional services and business managers. Centre staff are long serving. Registered teachers in each room are supported by unqualified staff, and the centre also employs a cook and administrator.

ERO's 2013 report acknowledged the respect evident in the interactions between teachers and children, and among children. This aspect has been maintained. Teachers have also undertaken self review to strengthen the bicultural and multicultural aspects of the programme.

The Review Findings

Children settle well into their daily experiences and they are comfortable in their surroundings. Children are free to choose from Montessori resources or general play activities. Mixed-age play opportunities are encouraged and valued. Children experience uninterrupted play and centre routines are unobtrusive.

Culturally diverse teachers support children to be strong in their identity and first language. Support for children's first language is evident from teachers. Children show confidence and are encouraged to use their first language, as well as developing their English language skills.

Teachers skilfully follow children in their play experiences. They take opportunities to support children with focused and relevant conversation to prompt learning. Teachers could now more deliberately foster children's interests. This approach would help to develop children's learning dispositions and would offer greater variety and challenge. More opportunities for children to develop their creative and imaginative play would also enhance the centre's programme. It would be valuable for teachers to evaluate these approaches to notice how they impact on children's engagement and learning.

Teachers could better reflect the balance of the centre learning approaches of Montessori and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in the children's individual learning portfolios.

Teachers have been trying to increase the focus on bicultural practice and understanding of its importance in being a New Zealander. More work and ongoing staff commitment is needed to ensure this worthy project gains the desired traction.

Teachers work well as a team. The review of the centre philosophy has helped to align teachers' thinking with practice. Leaders could develop this philosophy into a more practical tool by collaboratively producing explicit indicators of good practice to guide teaching. These could then be used to better evaluate teacher practices and how they impact on children.

The centre manager recognises the strengths of her teachers and uses a distributive leadership approach to build teacher capacity and capability. Establishing specific leaders for key curriculum areas could strengthen the centre's developments.

BestStart management is active in supporting the centre's direction. They are working with staff to develop stronger links between assessment and planning. Leaders and teachers would benefit from appropriate ongoing professional support to build leadership capability. The further development of teachers' reflective practice and inquiry into teaching strategies would help to strengthen the quality of learning outcomes for children.

Leaders use self review to improve centre practices. They could strengthen self review by developing clear goals, outcomes and timelines to support sustainability. A clear alignment between long-term goals, the performance management systems and the centre programme would provide a more cohesive framework for centre management. The evaluation of these goals should be focused on what impact they have on the children.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager and BestStart managers agree the priorities for centre development should include:

  • increasing the focus on Te Whāriki in the programme to more effectively capture children's interests and enhance their learning

  • providing professional development to develop leadership capability and sustainability

  • improving the quality of the teacher appraisal process so that it offers reflective, collaborative practice opportunities and inquiry into teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Montessori @ The Children's House 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 Montessori @ The Children's House will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 2016

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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20066

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Boys 38 Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Asian

Indian

Pacific

other ethnicities

7

9

19

8

8

3

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

May 2007

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.