Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue)

Education institution number:
46535
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
42
Address:

182 15th Avenue, Tauranga South, Tauranga

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1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama- indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most (PDF 3.01MB) are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The Akarangi Quality Evaluation Judgement Rubric (PDF 91.30KB) derived from the indicators, is used to inform the ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence. 

ERO’s judgements for Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakatō Emerging

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakatō Emerging

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whāngai Establishing

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whāngai Establishing

2 Context of the Service

Scuola Montessori is one of three privately owned centres and is one of two located in Tauranga. It offers education and care in two separate age-based areas. The head directress leads a team of seven qualified and three unqualified teachers. The preschool is inspired by the Montessori philosophy and Te Whāriki.

3 Summary of findings

The service is in the early stages of exploring the learning outcomes in Te Whāriki. Children’s capabilities are encouraged as they participate in experiences alongside their peers. An inclusive environment encourages children to become socially competent. Relationships between teachers and children are positive and affirming. Children’s learning and development are supported through caring interactions.

Positive relationships with parents have been established. Teachers are building on these relationships to increasingly focus on children’s learning. Family information and aspirations for children’s learning are gathered, but not yet visible in ongoing evaluation of learning. Opportunities for parents to participate in and contribute to curriculum design and planning are beginning. Once established, this has the potential to contribute to a responsive curriculum that recognises children’s language, culture, and identity.

A bicultural curriculum is in the beginning stages of implementation. The focus is to integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into everyday practice. Teachers are building their own capability to support children to experience the local and wider curriculum. Children’s learning is enhanced through teachers and leaders working together as a learning community.

Leaders are establishing the conditions that enable collaboration for improvement and support effective decision making. Teachers are encouraged to take responsibility for their own professional learning. Leaders acknowledge that effectively evaluating the service’s strategic plan is likely to contribute to positive outcomes for children.

4 Improvement actions

Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning:

  • strengthening leaders’ knowledge and effective use of internal evaluation systems for improvement
  • continuing to strengthen culturally responsive practices
  • further development of planning process to better support teachers’ understanding of children’s learning in relation to the learning outcomes from Te Whāriki.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) 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

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

22 April 2021 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue)
Profile Number 46535
Location Tauranga

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

42

Ethnic composition

Māori 1, NZ European/Pākehā 25, Other ethnic groups 16

Review team on site

March 2021

Date of this report

22 April 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, March 2017

1 Evaluation of Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue)

How well placed is Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) 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

Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) is a privately owned education and care service located in Tauranga. The centre is licensed for 50 children, including up to 10 under 2 years of age. There are 54 children enrolled, 7 of whom identify as Māori. A significant number of children are from other ethnic backgrounds. Parents can access sessional or all-day care. Children learn and play in two separate age-based areas. Leaders and teachers work in partnership with Scuola Montessori in Waihi Rd. The centre was opened in October 2014 and this is its first ERO review.

The centre philosophy is underpinned by close partnerships between teachers and parents, and striving to do the best for children. Teachers aim to provide an environment that is home-like, peaceful, loving and safe. They endeavour to recognise and provide opportunities to nurture children's love of learning and responsible citizenship.

The owner fulfils the role of head directress and a new deputy head directress has recently been appointed. Most teachers are qualified early childhood teachers. The majority have a Montessori Diploma.

The Review Findings

Responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships among teachers, children and their families promote a strong sense of belonging in the centre. Children are engaged, and sustain play and learning through a wide range of activities. They work independently or with peers, and older children often support younger ones. Children benefit from a broad, rich curriculum, with particular strengths in literacy, mathematics and science. Children are becoming more confident and competent explorers, and are able to have fun as they play and learn.

The curriculum incorporates a strong Montessori approach as well as Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Grace and courtesy are integral to the programme, building children's respect for others and the environment. Most teachers have a sound understanding of Montessori and implement strategies to support children's learning. Their learning is also complemented by the knowledge of early childhood qualified teachers.

The programme is planned to allow children to choose, self extend and follow their own interests. There is a good balance of teachers' standing back to allow children to work uninterrupted, and engaging with children to support the development of their knowledge, skills and understandings. Teachers foster children's ability to be self-managing and independent learners. They are responsive to children with diverse needs and implement appropriate strategies to engage them in learning. All children are well supported to develop social competency and capability to lead their own learning.

Children learn in calm, quiet, well-resourced environments. Learning areas are uncluttered and easily accessed, in line with Montessori philosophy. The programme incorporates visits to the wider community and regular celebrations that allow whānau and families to share in children’s learning and success.

Children under two years of age benefit from respectful and caring relationships with teachers. Regular interactions between teachers and parents ensure consistency and continuity of care between home and the centre. These young children are well engaged and are able to make choices about their learning and play. They are settled and confidently explore the interesting, supportive learning space.

Children's progress through the Montessori curriculum is effectively tracked and monitored, allowing teachers to identify next steps for learning. Learning stories explain and celebrate learning for parents. These stories should be strengthened by more clearly and systematically documenting individual progress over time and including responses to parents' aspirations for their children.

Teachers use te reo Māori to give simple instructions and follow basic tikanga Māori. Children enthusiastically participate in waiata and karakia. Leaders and teachers agree that strengthening te ao Māori is an area for ongoing development.

Processes for transition into and within the centre are responsive to the readiness, development and needs of individual children. Time is allowed for them to become familiar with the new learning space. The centre programme promotes the development of knowledge, skills and dispositions to support transition to school. The centre has established useful relationships with nearby Montessori schools and is strengthening interactions with other local schools. Children experience positive transitions, supporting their wellbeing.

Parents are well informed about their children's learning and centre activities through a variety of means. Teachers acknowledge and make good use of the skills and expertise of parents to enhance the curriculum. Parents have the opportunity to have input into regular policy reviews and an annual survey. The centre has developed effective partnerships with parents.

The head directress oversees both Scuola Montessori centres. She is well supported by a deputy head directress in each centre. The centre manager completes documentation and regulatory requirements, allowing leaders and teachers to focus on teaching and learning.

The owners have a sound policy framework in place for both centres to guide practice. Spontaneous self reviews of procedures lead to improvements in practice and outcomes for children. Leaders and teachers are currently participating in professional development that is assisting them in the development of a process for planned and strategic internal evaluation. Teachers participate in a good range of professional development, including a diploma in Montessori philosophy. A meaningful appraisal process encourages teacher reflection and leads to improvements in practice.

Key Next Steps

The centre now needs to strengthen:

  • strategic planning to clearly identify the centre's priorities and associated goals towards achieving its vision, particularly in relation to curriculum areas and outcomes for children

  • appraisal processes, in particular the inclusion of targeted observations, with constructive feedback and feed forward about the effectiveness of teaching practice.

There is also a need to continue developing teachers' confidence and capability to broaden and deepen bicultural practice across the curriculum, including local iwi history and stories. This should develop the identity of Māori children in the centre more fully and provide non-Māori children with a better understanding of the rich cultural heritage of New Zealand.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) 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 Scuola Montessori (15th Avenue) will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

14 March 2017 

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

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

46535

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

7

31

16

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2017

Date of this report

14 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

No previous ERO reports

 

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.