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ERO report leaves preschool puzzled

ROSE CAWLEY
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2014
preschool
All smiles: Evonne Tsui happily plays at preschool.

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A Montessori early childhood centre is taking the feedback from its community to heart over its ERO report.

Owner Michelle Godsiff says eight teachers from Lilly's Locker received regional awards through the National Excellence in Teaching Awards, or NEiTA.

But only three days before the centre had received an ERO report that had left them baffled.

"We didn't get a very good ERO report for the first time in over 20 years," she says.

The report placed Lilly's Locker in the "required further development category".

But Mrs Godsiff says the centre won't be taking the report, which she thinks is the result of a "personality clash", to heart.

"These awards are my parent community saying what they think of us and that means so much more to us."

Teachers are nominated by parents for the awards.

Mrs Godsiff says the parent community thinks the centre has the recipe for success down pat.

"We work with each child at their level, we give them individual lessons at their level and that makes a lot of difference."

"As a Montessori school we have equipment in the classroom that you won't find anywhere else. We are extremely strong in numeracy and literacy."

She says when the students move on to school they do so with an impressive skill set under their belt.

"It is about expecting good quality and doing things well and by expecting the children to do what they are asked and do it well you create a cycle of achievement."

Mrs Godsiff started the Montessori preschool almost 20 years ago.

"I really started it for my daughter. I couldn't find anything for her," she says. "I was an ex-primary school teacher. I couldn't find the right balance, I didn't want all play and because I couldn't find it I thought, I better create it."

The centre will be visited by the Education Review Office in two years.

Go to tinyurl.com/ERO-Lilly to read the full ERO report.

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- Eastern Courier

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