14 August 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers

It has come to my attention that there are a couple of nasty winter bugs around at the moment which are very contagious.  One is a virus which has flu like symptoms and another is gastrointestinal.  We kindly ask that if your child has any of the following symptoms that you keep them at home until the infectious period has ended.

Sore tummy

If you have a family member who is sick and your child complains of similar symptoms in the morning, please do not send them to school.   Due to the contagious nature of these illnesses, if your child comes into the sick bay with any of the above symptoms, we will be phoning you to come and collect your child.

Please refer to the link below for the Ministry of Health Guidelines, which are referred to in our Schooldocs Policies.

Thank you for your help in preventing the spread of illness at Elmwood.


07 August 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers

What a wonderful occasion we were all able to enjoy last week through our whole school production The Journey – Around the world in under 80 minutes.  This was the first time we had been able to perform as a school since 2010 and this production certainly brought our community together.

Every child in their own special way contributed to the performance.  I am sure they will remember ‘their moment in time’ for many years to come.

Such events would not take place without the efforts of many working together collaboratively for a common outcome.  I would like to, however make mention of the following:

Special thanks go to:

  • ASB Bank – Performing Arts Community Grant
  • Isaac Theatre Royal
  • Richard Oswin and Daniel Cooper – our wonderful accompanists
  • Hayley Woodham, our Dance Specialist extraordinaire
  • Kirsten McFaull who oversaw, designed and coordinated the wonderful costumes
  • Matua Rihari Walker, our Kapa Haka group leader and teacher
  • Parents, partners and spouses who helped with costumes and props
  • Children in the drama elective who designed the posters and front of the programme and were back stage helpers
  • Robbie who designed the ‘backdrop rocket’
  • Jeni McKinnon for pulling it all together


31 July 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Excitement levels are building as we lead up to tomorrow’s whole school production.   We hope you are looking forward to it as much as the children are looking forward to sharing their talents with you.   Thanks to everyone for your support and many contributions.

ENSCA Art Auction:
Mark your diaries now for the Art Auction to be held in the Auditorium – Friday evening 22nd September 7.30pm – see more details under latest news.

The Art Auction is set to be a wonderful, fun evening of celebrating our student’s creativity and art work, and is an opportunity to support ENSCA and our school.  We would love you to support this worthwhile community evening.  I look forward to seeing you there.


24 July 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Welcome back to the new term.  I hope the holidays were not too stressful for you and that you found some time to spend with your child/children doing kids’ stuff.

We are delighted to welcome Keryn O’Donnell (Teacher Rm 4), Tania Gibson (Library) and Lisa McNabb (Teaching Assistant) to our staff and community. We hope they enjoy their time with us.

Leadership Organisation for Term 3
With Jill Evans, our new Deputy Principal, not starting with us until Term 4 we have had to reorganise our leadership team structure for this term. Essentially our three team leaders, Caro, Megan and Sandra will be our acting DP’s sharing the role. They will be released one day per week as well as  sharing Fridays in the office. The days are as follows:

Caro Yr 5/6 – Mondays, Megan Yr 3/4 – Wednesdays and Sandra Yr 0/1 – Thursdays.

If you need to make contact regarding a matter that you would normally have gone to Maree about, we ask you contact the respective acting DP.

Excitement levels are certainly building for our upcoming school production next week.  Rehearsals have stepped up, costumes and props and being finalised and students are refining their respective parts. It certainly has been a huge logistical challenge to get all 535 students performing on the stage. Jeni and her team have certainly done a wonderful job.

Schools Docs
School Docs is our “cloud based” policy and procedure system that we use here at Elmwood. This is a comprehensive core set of policies which have been well-researched and follow the Ministry of Education National Administration Guidelines.  Policies are monitored by SchoolDocs and updated, modified or created in response to changes in legislation, significant events, Ministry guidelines, reviews/requests from schools and regular reviewing from the SchoolDocs team.  Each term there are policies and procedures up for review.

This term we seek your feedback on Appointment Procedure (Board only), Child Protection (Board and Staff only) and Students with Special Needs (Board, Staff and Parents).   To do this:

  1. Visit the website
  2. Enter the user name (elmwood) and password (Elmw00d).
  3. Follow the link to the relevant policy as listed.
  4. Read the policy.
  5. Click the Policy Review button at the right hand top corner of the page.
  6. Select the reviewer type “Parent”.
  7. Enter your name (optional).
  8. Submit your ratings and comments.

If you don’t have internet access, school office staff can easily provide you with printed copies of the policy and the review form.

In short
Despite being past the shortest day (and heading towards summer) we still have a few months of cold, wet weather ahead of us.  A few reminders then to help us all get through.

  • Please ensure you send your child/ren to school prepared for the weather of the day – a jacket, hat and gloves are essentials. When the weather is suitable students will be outside in the fresh air and therefore need appropriate clothing.
  • Please don’t drop your child off at school too early in the morning. Students are not able to access their classrooms until 8:30am so an 8:05 drop means a long wait in the cold.
  • The holidays were a good time to break the dreaded head lice cycle. Please keep on top of this by regular checking and immediate treatment when necessary.
  • Please keep your child home if they are unwell and only send them back when they are fully recovered.
  • Please ensure you collect your children from school at 3.00pm, or have arrangements in place for their care after school.  We seem to have more and more children who are not being collected until 3.45pm on a regular basis.
  • Please remember to check the Lost Property.  There is quite a lot of school uniform from Term 2 which needs to be uplifted.  If your child has lost a piece of clothing – please check here in the first instance.  This will be taken to the Second Hand Uniform shop on Monday 31st July if not collected.   The lost property is displayed on the deck by the cafe which is also opposite the end of Room 6A.   Thank you for your assistance with this.



03 July 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the last week of Term 3!   It has been another busy but very productive term at Elmwood.  We look forward with anticipation to our whole school production, “Around the World in under 80 minutes” early next term.

A very sincere thank you to those parents who provided a delicious morning tea for the staff last Thursday. It was enjoyed by all.

Last week you will have received access to our parent portal within Linc-Ed, enabling you to view your child’s progress and achievement report.  We hope you were able to take the time to sit down with your child or children and review this, and celebrate their learning success.  The conversations that you have with your child about their successes and next learning steps are a valuable part of the learning process.

In recent weeks we have been undertaking a recruitment process to fill the Deputy Principal vacancy left by Maree.   We had a particularly strong field of applicants which made this process a rigorous one.   We are delighted to announce that Mrs Jill Evans has been appointed to this position and will commence her role as of Term 4 this year.  Jill is well known to the Elmwood community, having taught here in the past and has had a close association with our school for many years.   She brings an extensive knowledge of future focused teaching and learning, together with a strong sense of wellbeing for the community, students and staff.

I hope everyone has a safe and restful mid year holiday.

Keep warm.


19 June 2017

Dear Parents,

I hope you are managing to stay warm and well as we enter the depths of winter. With the shortest day this week at least we can cajole ourselves that we are now heading towards summer!

Over the last eight months staff have been getting their heads around our new Student Management System, LincEd. One of the key features and reasons for changing to this system was its ability to provide cloud based reporting. We see real time, rich reporting of student achievement as the way of the future and we are delighted to be launching this in the coming weeks. Information regarding access to the parent portal will be emailed to you later this week so keep a look out for it.

Preparation for our first whole school production for a number of years is well underway. We are delighted to be presenting “The Journey – around the world in 80 minutes” to our parent community on the 1st August at the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Lead roles have been cast, costumes are being designed and rehearsals are in full swing.   All 525 students will perform on stage in what will be a night to remember.
Ticketing details can be found further on in this newsletter.

We have a further couple of changes to our staffing for next term. Ben Cording is leaving us to begin his new role of full time House Dad for little Annabelle. We are of course sad to lose Ben after nine years of dedicated service, but how lucky will Annabelle be having Dad at home full time!  Kerryn O’Donnell, an experienced teacher currently teaching a Year 3/4 class at Allenton School in Ashburton will take over in Ben’s class.

Nicky Bell, our Monday to Wednesday Receptionist, is also leaving at the end of the term to have more time helping her husband Darryl on the farm.   Jo Koers our Thursday/Friday Receptionist will be taking over this role full time.

We wish Ben and Nicky all the very best in their endeavours and thank them for their dedicated service.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Tania Gibson to the position of Librarian. Tania brings a wealth of knowledge and experience coming from the Christchurch City Council’s Library team.

Recruitment to replace Maree is currently underway and we would expect to make an appointment by the end of this term.

Winter Holidays:
For those of you heading off on overseas holidays in the coming months and taking your children out of school, while it is not ideal from our perspective, we do appreciate that for some families this is unavoidable.

Please be aware that we do not provide our students with any extra work whilst they are absent from school but do encourage them to keep a diary or scrapbook of their travels and read regularly while they are away. The learning will, I’m sure, be in the travel experience!

Keep warm.


22 May 2017

Dear Parents

As we settle into Term 2 with cooler mornings, please be mindful of safe travel to and from school.

At last week’s assembly I spoke to students about wearing their winter uniform correctly and with pride.  I ask for your support in this by ensuring that what you send your children to school in, is the correct uniform as per our website –  with no additions please.

It is with some sadness that we have received our wonderful Librarian Nicky Sharple’s resignation, effective from the end of this term.   Nicky has given many years of dedicated service to Elmwood in various roles, from parent help, teacher assisting and most recently Librarian.   Her passion for reading and wide knowledge of book genres has hugely assisted many children and their families to create a love of learning and reading.   We wish Nicky and her family all the best for her future endeavours.

We have developed a new Cybersafety Agreement in line with Netsafe’s recommendations.  This will be coming home with your children later this week and we ask that you read and discuss this with your child/children and then sign and return the form to the classroom teacher.   This signed agreement will cover the duration that your child is at school.

Head Lice:
With the winter months upon us it is obviously the season for head lice. Please be proactive about this little nastie by regular checking of your child’s hair and taking the appropriate action should you find evidence of head lice.  We have been made aware  of a new medication which is subsidised (including the Doctor’s appointment) from Pharmac.  The link to more information is herewith.

Catherine Gallagher:
Catherine Gallagher is a Clinical Psychologist.  We are bringing her in to talk to parents about anxiety in children.  She has some great advice, ideas and strategies on how to help our children.   All welcome tonight in the Auditorium at 7.00pm.


01 May 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Welcome back everyone to another exciting term of teaching and learning.

I hope everyone has had a restful break and you were able to find some quality time to spend together as a family. I enjoyed chatting to a few of you this morning about your adventures over the holidays.

Jill and I undertook a “road trip” of the bottom half of the North Island during the holidays, travelling up the west coast, across the island via Taupo and back down the east coast. Highlights would have to be exploring beach settlements such as Oakura, Waimarama and Castlepoint, walking the Tongariro crossing, trout fishing on lake Taupo and visiting some of New Zealand’s best wineries.  We were so impressed with the stunning views and quality of the whole experience. We really do live in a beautiful country.

A special welcome to the 9 new students and their families who joined the Elmwood community today. We hope you enjoy your time with us.

This term we welcome back Claire Peacock-Price to our staff as the new teacher starting our next New Entrant class in Room 6.

As we head into the cooler months I would like to draw your attention to a few matters that make life easier for you and us:


  • Ensure your child is clothed correctly in our winter uniform.  Please check the school website if you are unsure of the correct uniform:
    If your child intends wearing a polyprop under the uniform please ensure it is not visible.

    Our heating system in the school is very effective hence the only need for a jacket is getting to and from school.
    Unfortunately the winter months is when our uniform can begin to look untidy.  We would ask for your support in ensuring your child wears the uniform correctly and with pride.
  • The sunhat can be packed away until Term 4.
  • Don’t send your child to school too early. We have some children being dropped off at 8:00am, which is too early to be standing in the cold for 30 minutes.
  • If your child is unwell please don’t send them to school. Sickness spreads quickly in the classroom environment.  Please ring or email Reception and let them know of your child’s absence.
  • Observe the “rules” around using the P3 parking outside school on both Aikmans and Leinster  Rd. It is obviously highly sort after in the mornings and afternoons so by adhering to the 3 minutes everyone will have access. Please also be considerate of our neighbours and don’t park over their driveways.


Linc-ed Reporting

Last year we began implementing a new Student Management System called Linc-ed.  This is a cloud-based system that was designed by Paul Sibson when he was Principal at Fendalton School.  It is a tool we use for attendance, storing information and data on students, and also reporting to parents electronically.

This year we will be changing the way we are reporting on our students.   Instead of giving out a written report twice a year, we will be doing ‘real time’ reporting.  Teachers, teaching assistants and support staff will be posting information about your child through the parent portal on Linc-ed and you will receive this instantly via email, from the end of term 2.   Children will also have the opportunity to post about their learning on Linc-ed.

Our timeline for implementation this term is as follows:
● Monday 19 June – Email sent to all parents / caregivers giving information and access to the Linc-ed  portal.
● Friday 23rd June, 10am in the staffroom – Drop in session for questions or help with using Linc-ed
● Friday 30 June, 11:00am – Reporting goes live to parents.

In the meantime we suggest you watch the video clip below to begin building an understanding of Linc-ed and how it will support us in better reporting student progress to parents.

Linc-ed introduction for parents

If you have further questions after watching the clip, then please come along to one of following sessions:

Information on Linc-ed
Friday 19th May, 10am in the staffroom

We have begun a Question and Answer forum as a result of feedback from our parent focus group.  These may be helpful in answering some of the initial questions you might have:

Linc-ed Q&A

Paul and Maree

10 April 2017

Dear Parents,

It certainly was great to see the sunshine after all the rain last week.

I would like to thank all the parents who attended the Amazing Race on Sunday. It was a great day and your support was appreciated. Thank you also to Bridget and the ENSCA team for all your organisation for The Amazing Race for our families.

As the last week of term is upon us – a couple of reminders:
– Winter uniform is to be worn from the beginning of Term 2
– Please check the lost property.  This is on display on the deck opposite Room 6a this week.

I would like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday and we look forward to seeing everyone back next term. 


27 March 2017

Dear Parents,

Looking out the window today it certainly looks as though the weather is cooling and autumn is rapidly heading our way.

Well done to the hardy students who took part in the Primary Sport Canterbury Duathlon at Ruapuna raceway today. A great effort by you all, and the parents who supported you.

Swimming Pool
The school swimming pool will close this Sunday 2nd  April. I would imagine it will be only the brave that will venture in this week!

I would like to extend a  very sincere thank you to all of the pool managers and supervisors who gave up their time over the summer to make the pool available for the community. Without your support this would not have been possible.  Particular thanks to Jonelle Quane for organising the sale of pool keys and all of the other associated processes and procedures. She will no doubt be in touch with all key holders shortly to organise their return.

Nathan Wallis evening
Thanks to those of you who attended the Nathan Wallis parent information evening last Monday night. I hope you found the evening not only informative, but useful in understanding the development of the brain and the impact of this on parenting.  He certainly delivers a very good message.  Maree has put some links to Nathan’s presentation under her notices and the references for further reading are at the end of this newsletter.

2017 Charter
At February’s Board of Trustees meeting the 2017 Charter was approved.

This document contains the following:

  • The Board’s Strategic Plan (the school’s direction for the next three years)
  • The Annual Plan (what we are doing this year to work towards our Strategic goals)
  • The 2017 Student Achievement Targets which have been based on the National Standards.
  • The 2016 “Analysis of Variance Report” (how we got on with last years Student Achievement Targets)
  • The “strengths, areas for improvement and how we will go about it” statement (using the Ministry of Education’s mandatory template)
  • Elmwood Normal Schools National Standards data (using the Ministry of Education’s mandatory template).

This comprehensive document provides the pathway for the year ahead making clear links to our priorities in enhancing teaching and learning and ultimately outcomes for our students.
To view this document in its entirety please visit the Board of Trustees section on the website.


  • The school day finishes at 3:00pm at which time parents need to ensure that all students are collected or make their own way home by no later than3:15pm.
  • Parking on yellow lines, across driveways (particularly ours!) and in time restricted parking areas around the school is unlawful. Please don’t do it!
  • The staff car park on Aikmans Road is for staff and not for parents to park in to collect their children at the end of the day.



The Mediational Role of Neurocognition in the Behavioural Outcomes of a Social-Emotional Prevention Program in Elementary School Students: Effects of the PATHS Curriculum. Nathanial R. Riggs et al. in Prevention Science, Vol. 7, No. 1 pages 91-102; March 2006.

The Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Education Program on Pre- and Early Adolescents’ Well-Being and Social and Emotional Competence.Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl and Molly Stewart Lawlor in Mindfulness, pages 1-15; 2010.

Interventions Shown to Aid Executive Function Development in Children 4 to 12 Years Old. Adele Diamond and Kathleen Lee in Science, V ol. 333, pages 959-964; August 19, 2011.

Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Delay of Gratification 40 Years Later. B.J. Casey et al. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, Vol. 108, No. 6, pages 14,998-15,003; September 6, 2011.

Computerized Training of Working Memory in Children with ADHD- A Randomized, Controlled Trial. T. Klingberg, E. Fernell, P.J Olesen, M. Johnson, P. Gusstafsson, K. Dahl-Strom, C.G. Gillberg, H.Forssberg and H. Westerberg in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 44, No. 2, pages 177-186; February 2005.

Improving Fluid Intelligence with Training on Working Memory. Susanne M. Jaeggi, Martin Buschkuehl, John Jonides and Walter J. Perrig in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Vol. 105, No. 19, pages 6829-6833; May 13, 2008.

Can Training in a Real-Time Strategy Video Game Attenuate Cognitive Decline in Older Adults? C. Basak, W.R. Boot, M. W. Voss and A. F. Kramer in Psychology of Aging, Vol. 23, No. 4, pages 765-777; December 2008

Differential Effects of Reasoning and Speed Training In Children. Allyson P. Mackey, Susanna S. Hill, Susan I. Stone and Silvia A. Bunge in Developmental Science, Vol. 14, No. 3, pages 582-590; May 2011

Short- and Long-Term Benefits of Cognitive Training. Susanne M. Jaeggi Marton Buschkuehl, John Jonides and Priti Shah in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Vol. 108, No. 25, pages 10,081-10,086; June 21, 2011

Stress Signalling Pathways That Impair Prefrontal Cortex Structure and Function. A.F.T Arnsten in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 10, pages 410-422; June 2009

A Bidirectional Model Of Executive Functions and Self Regulation. Clancy Blair and Alexandra Ursache in Hand-book of Self-Regulation: Research, Theory, and Applications. Second edition. Edited by Kathleen D. Vohs and Roy F. Baumeister. Guilford Press, 2011.

Child Development in the Context of the Adversity: Experimental Canalization of Brain and Behavior. C. Blair and C. C. Raver in American Psychologist, Vol. 67, No. 4, pages 309-318; May-June 2012

06 March 2017

Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying the lovely late summer weather we are having. The school pool is certainly getting plenty of use both during the school day and at the weekends.

Thank you to those of you who attended Three Way Learning conferences last week. We hope you found these useful in setting the learning direction for the year for your child/ren. We, as a staff, have spent some time developing these conferences to ensure they are meaningful for your child, their teacher and yourself. Feedback on this last round has been very positive.

As is always the case, if ever there is a matter that you are concerned about, please get in touch with your child’s teacher (or the staff member concerned) and make a time to discuss and resolve it.

I’d like to say a big thank you and well done to Indie Lewis from Room 20, who last week organised the bake sale to raise funds for those affected by the recent Port Hills fires. It is wonderful to see our students stepping up and taking some action when our community needs some support. Thank you also to the Year 5 and 6 student’s parents who did the baking to support this very worthy cause.

A personal thank you from Indie Lewis Room 20
“I would like to say a special thank you to all the staff, Year 5 and 6 students and the parents who supported the bake sale last week.  We raised $1,011.10.  The funds are going to be given to the Rural Fire Department and the Dorrance family to help rebuild their garden.   This was such an awesome effort, thank you so much for getting on board with my idea”.
Indie Lewis

New Parents Morning Tea
To all of our new families to Elmwood this year, we would like to invite you to a welcome morning tea this Wednesday, 8th March at 9:00am in the Staffroom. This will be an opportunity to come along to meet and chat with the leadership team and members of ENSCA (Elmwood Normal School Community Association). If you intend to come, please rsvp via email to Maree


Nathan Wallis
Monday, 20 March 7:00pm in the Paparoa St School Hall.

If you haven’t already marked you diaires for this event do so now.

“Nathan Wallis is a father of three & foster parent with a professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management.
Until recently he lectured in Human Development at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and was also a board member and senior trainer with the highly respected Brainwave Trust. In 2010 he founded a private training consultancy, Nathan Wallis Ltd, with the goal of facilitating easy to understand professional development training reflecting the latest neuroscience discoveries and their practical implications for everyday practice.
Since then he has been in hot demand, delivering in excess of 150 presentations every year throughout New Zealand and Australia. He has developed a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker who uses humour and plain language to make this complex topic come to life.
He has worked with children in counselling settings relating to domestic violence, sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Nathan has established and managed educational contracts in Christchurch including Parents as First Teachers and Te Waka Huruhurumanu, a Ngai Tahu indigenous early learning centre”.

A couple of housekeeping reminders:

  • Please use the crossings on Leinster and Aikmans Roads to access the school. When using these please follow the Road Patroller’s instructions ensuring you wait for the “Cross now” command.
  • We have designated areas for Bus parking on Leinster Rd between 9:00am and 3:30pm.  Please do not park in these areas at these times.
  • Please also adhere to the 3 minute parking when dropping off your children.
  • Parents need to be diligent about coming to the office if their child arrives late to advise the office staff, or they need to remind their children to pop into the office before going to class.


27 February 2017

Dear Parents,

We as a community have the opportunity to hear Nathan Wallis speak on Monday evening 20th March, 7.00pm – 8.30pm at Paparoa Street School. Nathan is a fantastic, dynamic speaker.  You will be disappointed if you miss hearing him.   

Nathan Wallis is a father of three & foster parent with a professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management.

Until recently he lectured in Human Development at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and was also a board member and senior trainer with the highly respected Brainwave Trust. In 2010 he founded a private training consultancy, Nathan Wallis Ltd, with the goal of facilitating easy to understand professional development training reflecting the latest neuroscience discoveries and their practical implications for everyday practice.

Since then he has been in hot demand, delivering in excess of 150 presentations every year throughout New Zealand and Australia. He has developed a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker who uses humour and plain language to make this complex topic come to life.

He has worked with children in counselling settings relating to domestic violence, sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Nathan has established and managed educational contracts in Christchurch including Parents as First Teachers and Te Waka Huruhurumanu, a Ngai Tahu indigenous early learning centre.

“I didn’t realise that there was so much going on in my kids heads.  This information has been awesome to hear.  I really feel like I have a completely new understanding of why my teenager is like he is.   I’m not worried at all anymore.  Thanks so much Nathan – you are an AWESOME communicator.  You make everything so easy to understand.”   Parent.

I would strongly encourage you to come.  Please mark this event in your diaries now.  You will not be disappointed.
If you wish to attend please email


20 February 2017

Dear Parents,

Our first round of Three Way Learning Conferences for Y1 – 6 students will take place Tuesday 28 FebruaryThursday 2 March. We have brought these forward in the school year to enable the three parties (parents, students and teachers) to get together to discuss the learning journey ahead for the year and set some mutually agreed goals. There will be a follow-up conference in Term 3 to evaluate progress made towards these learning goals.

Three Way Learning Conferences are a conversation between the student, their parents and their teacher. The student has an opportunity to share with their parents (with the support of their teacher) their growth as a learner. All three parties – student, parents and the teacher – sit together and talk about the student’s learning by looking at and discussing a range of the student’s work samples. Each conference will last for fifteen minutes with times selected through our online booking system, which we will open today and close on Monday 27 February at 9.00am (see below for instructions).

It is recognised that if our children are to be successful in the future they must be given the skills to learn how to learn. We want them to understand that learning is something they do: it is not something done to them.

Strategies like three way conferencing increasingly lead students towards becoming self-directed, independent learners. During three way conferences, students play their part in contributing to the discussion and providing evidence of progress and achievement. Their task is to provide a range of work to illustrate the progress they have made. Three way conferences ensure that the focus remains on the student’s learning and the critical role they have in determining their own next steps for learning.
If students are to develop as independent learners they must reflect on their own progress and look at what they can learn from what they have accomplished. This is becoming an integral part of their classroom programme.

Reflection encourages students to consider their own thinking. It is being able to stand back, to think about what has been done well, to identify difficulties, and to focus on areas for improvement. Where students are able to reflect on their current strengths and weaknesses, they are in a strong position to set their own next learning steps.

“Where students set their next learning steps, individuals were shown to have made impressive gains in terms of academic achievement”…. (Atman 1988).

These understandings give students skills for life in learning how to learn. We are empowering them to become self directed, independent, lifelong learners, able to cope with whatever challenges they may face in the future.

To make a booking:

  • Go to the website :
  • Enter the school’s event code: qrnah
  • Enter your family name, email address and student name.
  • Select the class teacher from the list provided.
  • Select an available time slot.

Once you have made your booking the interview timetable will be emailed to you at the email address that you provided.

If you do not have access to a computer, or you have problems with arranging your interview times online, please call into the school office and they will be able to assist you.

Paul Armitage

13 February 2017

Dear Parents,

Thanks to those of you who attended last week’s meet the teacher evening.  We hope you found these sessions informative and helpful.  To support the material that was shared with you, we have this year developed an information section on our website.   This can be found under the ‘Information’ droplist on the home page and then hover over Team Information and you will find  a section for each of the following year levels:

Year 1 and 2:

Year 3 and 4:

Year 5 and 6:

I would recommend you refer to these in the first instance, should you have any questions regarding what happens in the year level your children are in.

Celebration Assemblies:
Due to the Auditorium being unavailable this term, Celebration Assemblies will be held outside the music room (weather permitting). These assemblies are held week 3, 6 and 9 (17th Feb, 10th and 31st March).   The first assembly will take place this Friday at 11.00am. The later start time is due to the grounds drying out sufficiently for the children to sit on.    Should we have to cancel the assembly – there will be a notice on the website by 9.30am.    If in doubt, please check the website.

Linc-ed Reporting
Last year we began implementing a new Student Management System called Linc-ed.  This is a cloud-based system that has been designed by a past Principal in Canterbury.  It is an online tool we use for recording attendance, administrative information and recording learning and achievement for students.  This tool is also used for reporting to parents.

This year we will be changing the way we are reporting to parents about  student achievement.  Instead of providing a written report twice a year, we will be undertaking ‘real time’ reporting of your child’s achievements.  Teachers, teaching assistants and support staff will be posting information about your child’s learning within the Linc-ed system.   Parents will be able to access this information once we go live at the end of Term 2.   This will be done through the parent portal on Linc-ed.  We will share more information with you later in the term via the newsletter, website and parent information sessions.

School Uniform:
Please note that due to the building work being undertaken on the Auditorium, the Uniform shop will operate from the Library for the next two weeks.  The shop will be open from 8.30 – 9.00am.   The second hand uniform shop will remain in it’s usual place under the stairwell.

School Docs is our “cloud based” policy and procedure system that we use here at Elmwood. This is a comprehensive core set of policies which have been well-researched and follow the Ministry of Education National Administration Guidelines.  Policies are monitored by SchoolDocs and updated, modified or created in response to changes in legislation, significant events, Ministry guidelines, reviews/requests from schools and regular reviewing from the SchoolDocs team.

Each term there are policies and procedures up for review.

This term we seek your feedback on Recognition of Cultural Diversity.   To do this:
1.     Visit the website
2.     Enter the user name (elmwood) and password (Elmw00d).
3.     Follow the link to the relevant policy as listed.
4.     Read the policy.
5.     Click the Policy Review button at the right hand top corner of the page.
6.     Select the reviewer type “Parent”.
7.     Enter your name (optional).
8.     Submit your ratings and comments.

If you don’t have internet access, school office staff can easily provide you with printed copies of the policy and the review form.



31 January 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Welcome back everyone to the 2017 school year.  I hope everyone has enjoyed the summer break, feel well rested and ready for what promises to be an exciting, busy and productive year.

I’d like to extend a big thank you to all parents for preparing the children so well for the beginning of the school year; having all their stationery, wearing the uniform correctly and having their sunhats – what a great start.

Property Works:
During the holidays there has been considerable property works taking place at school. You will no doubt have noticed the newly painted buildings. The new colour scheme certainly gives a fresh look to our buildings.  You may wonder why we have painted some blocks and not others. This is because some didn’t require repainting yet and others will be replaced when we enter the Ministry of Education’s rebuild / modernisation programme in 2020.

We have also installed heat pumps (for cooling) now to all classrooms. These will keep rooms at a comfortable temperature when the settled hot weather arrives next month!

Works to the Auditorium will begin in the coming weeks. This will involve resolving water tightness and also a full internal refurbishment.
The auditorium will be out of action for all of term one, requiring us to have whole school assemblies outdoors (weather permitting).

Behaviour Expectations:
Last year staff and students developed a document that outlined the expectations we have at ENS that relate to our values. Teachers will be sharing these with students in the coming days and we will share them with parents via the website shortly.

One of the expectations I shared with all pupils today at our first assembly,  was that scooters must be walked in the school grounds. We would appreciate if parents and pre-school children also adhered to this.  Please click on the following link to view the ENS Values and Expectations ENS Values and Expectations 2017

Meet the Teacher Evening:    Tuesday, 7 February, between 6:00pm-6:50pm
This year we will be trying a new format for our meet the teacher evening. We have decided to dispense with the picnic as numbers in recent years have been declining.
This year there will 2 meeting times which will be held in the teachers respective classrooms. These will be identical meetings in their content with the first round beginning at 6.00pm and the second round beginning at 6.30pm. Parents may choose whichever time is suitable.
The purpose of these meetings is for parents and teachers to meet, and for teachers to outline how their classroom will operate for the year.
As all staff will be committed to their meetings, parents need to be aware that there will be no supervision in the playground.

Road works on Aikmans Road:
We have been advised by Fulton Hogan that they will be carrying out extensive roadworks on Aikmans Road over the next 3 days.  This means Aikmans Road will be closed to all traffic between Akela and Stirling Streets.  Please be mindful of this and plan an alternative route when coming to and from school.

With Libby leaving us at the end of last year to further her studies we are looking out for a new barista to run the “Elmwood Grind”. If you know anyone that may be interested or you are interested yourself, please get in touch with Vicki in the office.   355 7192 extension 706; email:

Looking forward to working with you all again this year.


12 December 2016

Dear Parents,

The end of the school year is all but upon us and we can reflect on what has been another great year at Elmwood Normal School.

Hopefully you’ve been able to sit down with your child/children and let them share their learning achievements that were captured in their reports. Having read all 558 reports, I hope you are as proud as I am of each student’s achievements for the year.

In last weeks’ newsletter I acknowledged our leaving staff and thanked them on behalf of the community for their dedication and service to Elmwood.

Next year we are delighted to welcome Danielle Bowden from Mount Eden Normal, Heather Pearson from Amberley Primary, Willem Kortekaas, Jessica Saunders, Angela Hamilton, Bronwen Kingston all beginning teachers. We also welcome back on a part time basis, Zoe Rose and Jill Royds.

Joanne Koers is also joining our administration team taking over the Thursday/Friday Reception position from Sue Welsh.

In 2017 the school will be organised as indicated below .

Room 6A    Sandra Johnston                       Y1
Room 7      Toni-Jayne Miles                        Y1/2
Room 8      Tara Hollings                              Y1
Room 9      Laura Richardson                       Y1
Room 11    Jessica Saunders                       Y2
Room 12    Jo Mottram                                  Y2
Room 13    Heather Pearson                         Y2
Room 14    Charlotte Wilson                          Y2
Room 1      Meg Feller                                   Y3
Room 2      Angela Hamilton                          Y3
Room 3      Zoe Shakespeare                        Y4
Room 4      Ben Cording                                 Y3
Room 15    Willem Kortekaas                         Y4
Room 16    Danielle Bowden                          Y4
Room 17    Hayley Bishop/Jill Royds              Y4
Room 22    Sarah Hughey                              Y5
Room 23    Sarah Argyle                                 Y5
Room 24    Jeni McKinnon                              Y5
Room 18    Caro Searell                                  Y6
Room 19    Bronwen Kingston                         Y6
Room 20    Anna Schmidli                               Y6

This Wednesday your child will be issued with a letter from me advising parents of their 2017 class placement. On Wednesday they will spend some time in their 2017 class with their next year’s teacher getting to know their new classmates.

As this is our last news update for the year I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during the year and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you all have safe, relaxing holidays.

Looking forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 31 January.



05 December 2016

Dear Parents,

Planning for next year is now well underway with school organisation, budgets and staffing all being finalised. As has been previously indicated if you are not intending on returning to Elmwood Normal School next year (other than Year 6 students) please advise the office immediately as this information is critical to our overall planning.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, classroom teachers are currently completing final assessments and writing reports. Students in Years 1-3 will either receive an anniversary or end of year report while students in Years 4-6 will receive their anniversary report. These will be sent home on Friday 9 December with your child.

Class placements is another big job staff have been working through. Considerable time, thought and effort goes into this process with each child’s academic and social needs being taken into account.

On Wednesday 14 December students will meet their 2017 teacher and classmates and bring home a letter to parents advising of their placement.

ERO Report:
We have now received our Confirmed Report from the Education Review Office. It is available for you to read on our website under the Board Tab. All in all it is an extremely positive report, and very complimentary of the great job we do here at Elmwood in providing a high quality education for our students. This is further confirmed by ERO giving us a 4-5 year review cycle which means they have confidence in what we are doing and the direction we are headed to not visit in three years as would normally be expected.

Property Works:
During the school holidays the school will be alive with contractors undertaking various capital works projects for us.

The Auditorium is having work undertaken to address the water tightness issues it has and as such will be out of use for us until April next year. We are also using this downtime to repaint it on the inside.
Block 1 (two storey block) and Block 4( Rooms 5,6, 6a and 6b) are having an external paint and we are also installing heat pumps (for cooling) in all classrooms that currently don’t have them. This also requires us to upgrade our power supply to meet the demands of these additional heat pumps.  In total the Board is investing $500K of its reserves in these projects.

At this time of the year we wish to acknowledge the contribution of those staff that are moving on to new ventures. In 2016 we seem to have a few more than usual, however, when you read the short extracts below you will see that the staff leaving are all heading to new opportunities to further their careers and also follow their passions.

Unfortunately when you grow and develop great staff they are attractive to other schools.  Many of these leavers had advised us over the last 12 months and our recruitment strategy has been based on this.  We will announce the new positions next week in time for class placements.

It is with our best wishes we acknowledge the departure of the following staff:

Helena, who has been on study leave this year, will be taking up a new position in the Bilingual unit at Te Waka Unua School. For Helena she will putting into practise her learnings for the year and following a life long passion to teach Te Reo in a full immersion unit.

Louis, after 11 years at Elmwood, is heading to Cathedral Grammar to take up a teaching position that will see him use his strengths in innovation and e-Learning with the senior team.

Jill, who currently job shares with Hayley in Year 4, has had a long association with Elmwood fulfilling many roles in her 11 years with us.   St. Margarets are extremely lucky to have Jill joining their teaching staff next year in the prep school.

Simon, who has been with us for four years, is fulfilling a career desire to teach older students and is heading to St. Martins School to teach in their Year 7 and 8 Pod.

Esther, who currently teaches our Year 2 level is heading to full time study to become a Child Psychologist. Three years of study full-time as opposed to six and a half part time was her driver to leave.

Kim, is moving to Hillview Christian School, a special character school which Kim is passionate about.

Lucky Marg, is having a year off next year to travel and spend time with her family overseas.

Sue, our Thursday/Friday Receptionist, is leaving to have more time to follow her passion for travel.  Sue has given many years of service to the school and served in many roles including Board of Trustees chairperson.

Cynthia, our Tea Lady, is retiring.  She has been a dedicated staff member for 14 years, not only helping out in the staff room but also giving countless hours helping in the junior school preparing resources.

Libby, our Barista at the Elmwood Grind Cafe is also departing to enable her to study full time next year at Canterbury University.

As is the case with all departing staff from school, we undertake a thorough exit interview process.  We value the discipline of this process and the information that is gleaned from it.

Year 5/6 Sports Uniform 2017:
Next year we will be introducing a Year 5 and 6 Sports Uniform. We envisage that our senior students will wear this to school on Fridays and at various sporting events during the year. The uniform includes shorts, socks and logoed top. More details of cost and availability will be shared in the New Year.

With a few tummy bugs, coughs and colds still lingering at this time of the year, it is timely to remind everyone to be vigilant with hand washing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, or sneezing into a tissue to help prevent the spread of bugs.

Brett Murray – “Make Bullying History”
Earlier in the year Brett Murray was at school working with pupils, staff and parents delivering his workshops – “Make Bullying History”. While working in the school Brett was shadowed by a television documentary team from CTV. The documentary, which features Elmwood, will view on CTV on 6 December at 8:00pm.




Swimming Pool:
As the weather warms we are again looking forward to another good season of swimming and aquatic activities in the school pool.

All going well the pool will open 11 November (Show Weekend) and close at the end of March 2017.

As Malcolm mentioned in his last Board Talk, in light of changes to the Health and Safety Act we intend making some changes to the use of the pool outside of school hours. These have come after seeking legal advice from the school’s lawyer.
If you intend purchasing a key so that you can use the pool in the evenings and weekends you will be required to attend a pool safety briefing.  The content of this briefing will cover the pool environment, safety equipment as well as the basics of what to do in an emergency (including pool rescue and CPR). The sessions will be run by Life Saving New Zealand on Sunday 6th November 3:00-4:00pm and Wednesday 9 November 6:00-7:00pm. So that we can manage numbers can you please email Brian Miles our Sports Co-ordinator to register.

To be able to run the pool outside school hours we again need the assistance of parent volunteers as Pool Managers and Supervisors to oversee its operation.  Pool Manager – you will be responsible for testing the pool water  and Pool Supervisor – responsible for opening and closing the pool.
Volunteers will be rostered on a week at a time – the more volunteers we have the less time those involved will have to do it. In recognition of the time that is volunteered a free pool key is offered.
If you are willing to assist with either of these roles or would like to find out more about them please contact Brian Miles

ENSCA will once again be selling pool keys to Elmwood School families. The date for the sale of the keys will be advised early next week.

With the warmer weather now upon us, and sunsmart week being 14th – 20th November – remember to Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.  (Slip into a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen before going outdoors, slap on a hat with a brim or flaps and wrap on a pair of sunglasses).