Key features

The New Zealand Curriculum specifies eight learning areas:

  • English

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • The Arts

  • Health and Physical Education

  • Learning Languages

  • Technology

  • Social Sciences

  • Science

Underpinning our school curriculum is the vision of the New Zealand Curriculum, to develop “young people who are confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.”    Our School Curriculum and our teaching and learning programmes are characterised by the following features;


Learner-centred, personalised

The Elmwood Learners sit at the centre of our curriculum framework.  We seek their voice and respond to their individual differences, needs, aptitudes and interests. We create learning opportunities that challenge our learners to reach above their existing level and capacity. We provide opportunities for children to enhance their experiences by ensuring that they understand the purpose of their activities.  Through seeing the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives, our learners will be more engaged and their learning will be more effective.

Our curriculum aims to develop self-regulated learners who are aware of themselves as learners and who understand how to think as they work through the learning process.


                 Social and collaborative

At Elmwood we recognise the importance of the social nature of learning. We believe that the Elmwood learner thrives in a socially interactive learning environment. This may include co-operative group work, ability-based and social groupings benefiting a diverse range of learners.  The children participate in collaborative, hands-on learning experiences that flow from an interdisciplinary curriculum, outdoor exploration, and active play. It is critical for children to be explicitly taught the skills of collaboration and to coach them through authentic classroom experiences so that they are able to interact successfully with a variety of learners.



Rich learning tasks

A rich learning task is a project that connects different subjects and involves a variety of teaching and learning methods. Rich learning tasks have a dual role. They focus on learning that matters for now and also learning that looks to the future. Teachers at Elmwood recognise that what they are teaching the children now, contributes to a bigger picture.  We design rich tasks across all learning areas that are authentic and relevant for the children, with just the right amount of challenge to stretch them. Literacy and mathematics provide a strong foundation for rich learning across the curriculum.




The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching as both student and teacher respond to the information that it provides. Each day, staff carry out many forms of assessment to assist their own teaching and learning programmes.  We have robust national assessment tools such as PAT or e-asTTle and effective programmes for addressing student progress and achievement at school level.

At ENS we believe in rich, real time reporting on progress and achievement hence our move to cloud based reporting with LincED. Each year, school-wide quality assurance snapshots of student achievement are conducted. The following monitoring regime is observed at Elmwood;

Term 1
Y3-Y6 Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) for Listening Comprehension, and Mathematics and Reading Comprehension.

Terms 2-4
Y1-Y6 Assessment of progress  for Reading, Writing, Mathematics.

Throughout the year school entry data (SEA) is collected on children in their first six weeks of school. Further, comparative data is collected on children as they turn six, to determine progress made during the first year of a child’s formal schooling.