(2013-2015: Under review in 2016)
MISSION AND VALUES
Our values inform our mission, strategic goals, policy and practice. They are the principles behind our actions, a means of creating and sustaining an environment of trust and mutual understanding.
Our mission will guide our path over the period of this Strategic Plan.
We are committed to active and successful participation in New Zealand early childhood education through pursuit of our own strategic goals, Te Whariki and the principles of Montessori.
We are committed, through the active contribution of our teachers in a team approach, to creating an environment for learning which is welcoming, safe, aesthetically pleasing, stimulating and orderly.
Our values fall into three categories: learning and teaching, culture, and environment.
Learning and Teaching
- We model a love of learning in order to support learners to take risks, be curious and open-minded, confident and connected.
- We focus on building a learning culture that promotes respect for self, each other and the environment, where contributions from children, teachers and whanau are encouraged and supported.
- We value high quality, professional practitioners who gently challenge and stretch individual children towards self-management and independence while all the while encouraging a sense of belonging.
- We require ethical behaviour in all our activities and interactions.
- We strive to build relationships that are sustained through cherishing inclusivity, individuality and diversity.
- We effectively manage and account for our resources and apply them to the maximum benefit of the children we enrol.
- We seek active engagement with the communities we serve and value the benefits we bring to each other.
- We value liberty within boundaries of safety, respect, responsibility and citizenship, transparency and consistency.
COMMITMENT TO THE TREATY OF WAITANGI
We are committed to:
- Using Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi, to guide our obligations to Maori as tangata whenua and Treaty partners.
- The contribution of Te Reo Maori and Tikanga Maori to the culture of Ponsonby Montessori Kindergarten.
- Building long-term and positive relationships with Maori stakeholders.
- Increasing the capability of PMK to engage with Maori interests.
OUR SPECIAL CHARACTER
PMK’s special character is embedded in the interplay of six factors:
- Effective strategies that lead to a high level of engagement from our children who are learning to learn. These have evolved through a blending of our own strategic goals, Te Whariki (the national early childhood education curriculum), and the Montessori philosophy.
- A highly qualified and passionate staff whose life experiences, on-going professional development, and complementary skills result in a strong, effective team who share leadership.
- A family-like atmosphere where ‘the door is always open’ to existing, new and prospective families. This is, in part, due to the gift of time we give when transitioning children into the Centre or explaining to new families what we have to offer educationally. We have also considerable experience and understanding of the transition to school process and aim to make this as seamless as possible .
- A commitment to relating and getting to know each child as an individual, planning accordingly for their learning, and helping them to build and make connections visible between all learning places and spaces.
- A beautiful garden play and learning space where children enjoy opportunities for education ‘outside the classroom’.
- Extension learning opportunities in music, Spanish, perceptual motor skills, and Te Reo Maori, as well as a ‘Master Chefs’ and yoga programme. Where appropriate, external tutors are used for these activities.
CHALLENGES AND RISKS
We define risk as anything that could prevent us achieving the goals and commitments of this Strategic Plan.
Our risk management plan (a separate document) identifies mitigation strategies and assurance mechanisms that minimise our exposure.
We perceive current ‘big picture’ risks to be:
- not measuring up to competition in the market place
- situations or actions that damage our reputation
- the impact of unexpected unfavourable government funding changes, and
- an inability to recruit and employ excellent staff.
These goals are intended to focus our effort and offer direction about what needs to be done if we are to thrive. They reflect our values and commitments, providing a context for deciding on and implementing annual action plans, risk management initiatives and reporting mechanisms that will foster our success over the period of this Strategic Plan.
Our operational or annual plans contain the activities that move us towards the goals and commitments of this Strategic Plan; typically they state actions, due dates and responsibilities and are the basis of individual job descriptions and individual work plans.
Learning and Teaching
GOAL: Build a learning community in which we see promise not deficits in each learner.
- Establish teaching projects that explore integrated approaches to learning.
- Implement innovative approaches to learning that improve thinking skills and encourage creativity.
- Recognise the differing learning needs of children by using a variety of teaching approaches and showing sensitivity to cultural issues.
- Ensure that children are stimulated about what happens at kindergarten and share this excitement and passion with their families and extended whanau.
- Nurture and develop staff to be passionate, high-achieving teachers, growing and learning continually.
GOAL: Communicate effectively within our PMK community and wider communities.
- Ensure that our expectations and strategies for positive behaviour management of children are clearly understood by our children and their families.
- Ensure that our verbal and non-verbal communication is clear, concise, positive, regular, timely, and honest.
- Ensure that staff are trustworthy and approachable.
GOAL: Achieve full enrolment within the current fee structure, ensuring the financial viability of PMK.
Develop and maintain an excellent reputation, and maintain a waiting list to protect enrolment from natural attrition.
- Ensure that PMK offers an excellent experience for children and parents through high-quality and challenging learning experiences and fit for purpose facilities.
- Engage parents, caregivers and stakeholders as active members of an inclusive and supportive community of early childhood education.
- Ensure our fee structure remains competitive in the local market.
- Offer opening hours which are attractive in our local market.
GOAL: Provide a welcoming yet challenging environment where everyone has a place and relationships of trust are carefully nurtured.
- Offer opportunities for stimulating social and cultural experiences for children and their families.
- Build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships which maximise the kindergarten’s contributions to children’s positive development.
- Aim to create the ‘Circle of Happiness: Happy teachers, happy children, happy parents who tell other parents how happy they are’.
 Peters,S. (2010). Literature Review: Transition from early childhood to school. Report commissioned by the Ministry of Education. URL www.educationscounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/78825/956_ECELitReview.pdf