BestStart Montessori St Albans

Education institution number:
45307
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
63
Telephone:
Address:

96 Trafalgar Street, St Albans, Christchurch

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BestStart Montessori St Albans - 10/06/2020

1 Evaluation of BestStart Montessori St Albans

How well placed is BestStart Montessori St Albans to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Montessori St Albans is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

BestStart Montessori St Albans operates under the BestStart management structure. BestStart is a large organisation which owns early childhood education services across Aotearoa New Zealand. The centre is run by a centre manager and two head teachers. They are supported by the BestStart professional and business managers.

Best Start Montessori St Albans is licensed for 48 children, including ten children aged under two. The current roll is 60 children, four of whom identify as Māori. The centre operates in a converted villa which has two large teaching and learning spaces with adjacent outdoor areas. Of the eight teaching staff, seven are fully ECE qualified and five have Montessori qualifications. The centre’s philosophy emphasises the provision of 'high quality Montessori Education where we empower children to reach their fullest potential'.

The Review Findings

Children learn in a caring, well-organised environment that reflects the Montessori philosophy. They are respectful of others and of their environment and are supported by teachers to take responsibility for themselves. Children are confident in their relationships, playing and learning comfortably with and alongside others or alone. They know the routines and expectations well and competently access a range of resources and opportunities that support their learning and their wellbeing.

Children aged under two experience a calm, nurturing environment. Teachers are responsive to their needs and nonverbal cues. They work closely with parents to ensure routines are familiar and consistent. Children's development and wellbeing are supported by a range of thoughtful resources and programmes.

Teachers are highly committed to the Montessori philosophy, and its emphasis on numeracy and literacy. They are competent in its delivery and are strongly focused on preparing children for school and life. They ensure well managed transitions into, within and beyond the centre. Teachers are responsive to children's wellbeing and interests and to their language, culture and identity. The three monthly summary of learning for each child, which forms the basis of regular discussions with parents, is a useful record of progress and next steps. The centre effectively uses a range of ways to engage parents in conversations about their children's wellbeing and learning that establish close, reciprocal relationships.

Centre leaders effectively model a collaborative, highly respectful approach with a strong focus on improvement and excellence. All teachers are encouraged and supported to develop leadership skills and to be involved in review and reflection. Well established systems and structures, and clear planning that links to the strategic plan, ensure shared understandings and alignment of practices.

The recommendations made in the April 2016 ERO report have been incorporated into the centre's strategic plan and measured. Thoughtful progress has been made. The centre has identified the need to continue to develop to a greater depth internal evaluation and bicultural understandings.

Leaders and teachers are well supported by BestStart managers and systems. BestStart has a well-established management structure. Policies and procedures provide clear guidance to centre managers and teachers for the operation of the centre and maintaining health and safety for children and adults.

Key Next Steps

Continue to explore ways in which to fully incorporate Te Whāriki the Early Childhood Curriculum into teaching and learning by:

  • increasing the range of intentional teaching strategies to support individual children's learning
  • continuing to develop ways in which children can lead their own learning
  • ensuring a broad range of opportunities throughout the daily programme, for children to explore oral language and creativity.

Continue to increase the depth of teachers' understanding of tikanga and te ao Māori to:

  • provide rich opportunities for all children to fully access a localised, bicultural curriculum
  • support the language, culture and identity of Māori children.

Leaders and teachers should also continue to strengthen the evaluative aspects of self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Montessori St Albans 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

10 June 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

45307

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

48 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

60

Gender composition

Girls 31, Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities

3
44
13

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

10 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2016

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 @ St Albans - 14/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Montessori @ St Albans

How well placed is Montessori @ St Albans to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Montessori @ St Albans is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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

Background

Montessori @ St Albans operates under the Best Start management structure. Best Start (previously known as Kidicorp Ltd) is a large national organisation that owns early childhood education and care centres across New Zealand.

The centre is located in a large, recently-refurbished heritage villa and is licensed for 48 children including 10 under twos. It has two well-defined areas to cater for the specific learning and wellbeing needs of children under two years old and those aged between two and five years of age.

The manager and teachers actively provide a welcoming, family-like and inclusive learning environment for parents and children. They have established strong relationships with parents who are recognised as valuable partners in their children’s learning.

The majority of teachers are qualified in early childhood education. Two teachers have specific Montessori qualifications.

Since the 2012 review, the manager and staff have made significant progress with self review.

The Review Findings

The Montessori philosophy and Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum are clearly evident in programmes and practices.

Infants and toddlers are well supported to develop secure relationships. Teachers provide calm, child-paced interactions. Young children have access to a range of child-centred activities that meet their developmental needs. They know routines well. Respect is strongly promoted across the centre.

Children benefit from high-interest learning opportunities. They have long periods of uninterrupted time to make their own discoveries and develop and extend their ideas. Children’s independence and social skills are actively encouraged. High levels of engagement and interest in children's learning were evident during this review. As well as supporting children to be curious, creative, and confident learners, there is also a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

Teachers provide children with a rich, well-balanced programme. This includes self-initiated activities and periods of intentional teaching.

The centre manager is focused on learning and teaching that meets the needs of all children. She ensures that professional learning is well targeted to increase the capability of teachers and teaching teams. Shared leadership is promoted. Teachers’ expertise and interests are used to benefit children’s learning.

Parents are well informed about their children’s interests and participation through attractive wall displays, informative learning stories and online systems. Transitions into the centre, between rooms and onto school are responsive to the individual needs of the child and family. The centre is developing useful relationships with local schools to assist children and families prepare for school. Teachers regularly seek parents’ views on ways to improve outcomes for children.

Examples of te reo and tikanga are evident in the programme and in some of the practices. This includes the use of natural materials, care for the environment and the way some teachers naturally integrate te reo Māori during the day.

The centre manager and Beststart managers work in partnership to successfully implement management systems, including quality assurance and strategic planning processes. These include:

  • a review process that identifies what is going well and clearly shows the next steps for improving outcomes for children

  • provision of effective support for the day-to-day operation of their centres from regular visits of education and business managers

  • a robust appraisal system for teachers.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have practices in place to ensure ongoing improvement. They have identified that the next steps are to:

  • further refine assessment practices

  • continue to refine and embed effective internal evaluation, understanding and practices

  • strengthen bicultural aspects in teaching and learning and practices and programmes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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 @ St Albans will be in four years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

14 April 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

45307

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

48 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

66

Gender composition

Girls 36; Boys 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

Other

12

36

6

1

11

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

14 April 2016

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

June 2012

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.