Cambridge Montessori

Education institution number:
30278
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
35
Telephone:
Address:

22a Taylor Street, Cambridge

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1 Evaluation of Cambridge Montessori

How well placed is Cambridge Montessori to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Cambridge Montessori is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Cambridge Montessori is a privately owned centre located in Cambridge. The centre is one of two in Cambridge under the same ownership. It is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years. The roll of 35 includes six children who identify as Māori. The centre opens from 8am until 4pm daily. It is organised into two aged-based rooms, one for children aged three to six years and one area for two year olds. The outdoor space is shared by all.

Since the previous ERO review in 2016 the ownership of the centre has been retained by one of the previous co-owners. An operations manager role has been developed and an experienced part-time teaching and learning mentor has been employed. There have been some changes to the staff, with an experienced incumbent becoming the head teacher. The majority of the staff are Montessori trained and hold qualifications in early childhood education.

Cambridge Montessori philosophy states that the centre offers quality pre-school education in a peaceful, friendly environment where children, parents and whānau feel they belong. The Montessori philosophy and the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki are followed. Tamariki are guided to reach their full potential and learn through a localised curriculum.

The centre has responded positively to the recommendations from the previous ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a range of effective teaching and learning strategies. Teachers' knowledge of Montessori practices support each child’s learning. Interactions between teachers and children enhance oral language development. Children with additional needs are individually planned for, and well supported. There is a calm settled environment that promotes sustained engagement in learning. Transitions into and within the centre are flexible and personalised.

Relationships between children and teachers are based on mutual respect and build on knowledge of each child and family. Opportunities to grow a sense of belonging for Māori through te reo and tikanga Māori practices, are recognised and promoted. There are regular opportunities to communicate and connect with families to enhance learning centred relationships.

Children's learning is supported through a rich and personalised curriculum guided by Montessori philosophy and the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. The classrooms are well-prepared with high-quality resources and reflect Montessori philosophy. The outdoor environment also effectively supports learning. Links with the community provide additional learning opportunities for children.

Children's progression of learning from the Montessori curriculum outcomes is highly evident in individual education plans. Portfolios have been strengthened to reflect the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki. The centre should continue to enhance the visibility of these progressions of learning over time against identified outcomes. Children are self managing and independent learners.

Leaders actively build teacher capability. The teaching and learning mentor supports teacher practice through an effective appraisal system and professional learning. Emergent leadership in the centre is actively supported. A strong commitment to teaching and learning contributes to positive outcomes.

The centre effectively promotes learning for all children. External advice and guidance has been sought to build governance capability. An established vision, mission and values underpin the collaborative strategic plan. It is now time to evaluate this plan in terms of learning outcomes for children. The centre seeks regular feedback from families and is responsive to their identified aspirations.

Key Next Steps

Further build teacher capability to determine what works well for children to:

  • support improvement in the centre

  • systematically monitor and evaluate the subsequent changes to practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cambridge 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance.

The service provider must ensure that the Ministry of Education is notified of serious accidents.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS34]

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management should ensure the consistency of parent signatures on medication and accident forms and ensure ratios are noted on all documentation for excursions.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

17 June 2019

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

Cambridge

Ministry of Education profile number

30278

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Female 27
Male 8

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other

6
25
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

17 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2016

Education Review

February 2013

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.

1 Evaluation of Cambridge Montessori

How well placed is Cambridge 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.

Background

Cambridge Montessori is located in the township of Cambridge and caters for children from two years to six years of age. The current roll is 38 children with two children identifying as Māori. This centre is one of two centres under the same ownership. One of two co-owners currently manages both centres. There are two classes, a Year 3 to 6 class that runs daily and a Year 2 to 3 class that runs on Tuesdays to Thursdays.

During this ERO review the head teacher was away on leave and changes to ownership and management are planned for the end of the year. Since the previous ERO review, the centre has enhanced the outdoor environment and is continuing to address the area for development identified in the 2013 ERO report related to increasing child’s voice in portfolios.

The centre’s Montessori philosophy focuses on encouraging the development of independence, concentration, perseverance and respect. Older children teach younger children in an ordered environment managed by children. Montessori education involves the development of the child’s whole personality where physical, social, moral, intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects should be in balance.

The Review Findings

Management is committed to maintaining a high quality Montessori curriculum. The centre’s strategic plan has identified goals and priorities over the last three years and provided clear direction towards achieving these. Self-review practices are closely aligned to the centre’s strategic direction and focused on improvement. Policy guidelines and overarching management documentation enable the consistent implementation of systems and practices. Management now needs to develop a more rigorous performance management process that focuses on centre and teachers’ personal goals to enhance children’s learning and development.

Effective professional leadership is provided by the experienced and knowledgeable centre manager who is a strong advocate for the Montessori approach. Her position encompasses that of curriculum leader and professional support facilitator. The centre manager’s open management style assists staff to develop confidence, and contribute their ideas to many aspects of centre operations. This style of leadership is promoting positive and co-operative teamwork.

The centre’s curriculum empowers and nurtures children. An important feature of the Montessori curriculum and philosophy is providing an environment that caters for a wide range of interests and complexity of learning. The programme is focused on growing children’s independence and confidence through building their self-esteem, competence and respect. Teachers document children’s learning and use this information to plan appropriate, individualised learning programmes. It is timely to review individual children’s portfolios in order to strengthen parent’s input and children’s language, culture and identity.

Teachers know children well and are highly aware of their interests and development. They respond to children’s initiatives, respect their choices, encourage independence, and support their play and exploration. Teachers consistently model Montessori philosophy and values such as self-discipline, grace, courtesy and the appropriate use of equipment. The unobtrusive, responsive and caring interactions with children contribute to calm, settled and focused learning climates. Children demonstrate high levels of care and respect for resources and each other. While te reo and tikanga Māori is evident in the learning environment, staff are aware of the need to strengthen the use of te reo Māori so that it becomes a natural part of the daily programme.

A spacious and well-organised environment provides a range of opportunities for children to learn through play. An appropriate range of high quality learning materials is thoughtfully arranged in each of the five Montessori curriculum areas. The use of low shelving and the careful placement of equipment maximises children’s view of, and access to resources and invites the return of items to their original positions. The variety and orderly arrangement of resources effectively promotes independence and purpose in children’s work.

Leaders and teachers actively encourage parents and families to participate in centre activities and are kept well informed about their children’s learning and progress. Centre management and staff have effective systems in place to promote an emotionally and physically safe environment for children and adults.

Key Next Steps

ERO and management agree that the next areas for review and development are to:

  • implement a more rigorous appraisal process for all staff
  • review the purpose and consistency of children’s individual portfolios
  • strengthen teachers use of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

12 January 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

Cambridge

Ministry of Education profile number

30278

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

2

27

9

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

12 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

 

Education Review

February 2010

 

Education Review

February 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.