Our Point of Difference


Our Normal School status

In 1954 the term ‘Normal’ was added to the school name (see Our History).  “Normal” comes from the French word Normale – meaning ‘model’ or ‘teacher training’.

As a Normal School, Elmwood has a partnership with the University of Canterbury College of Education (UCCE) and the New Zealand Graduate School (NZGSE) in pre-service teacher training with particular focus on providing models for teaching practice. We regularly hosts students for teaching practice and for demonstration lessons.  The school also attracts visiting teachers and students from overseas.

Due to this partnership there is an expectation that our teachers will provide exemplary teaching practices to model for those in training. This expectation is a performance management dimension for all of our teaching staff. Our teaching and learning strategic direction aligns with the training programmes offered at the UCCE and the NZGSE.


The Arts


The benefits for children being involved in the Arts are innumerable. Arts experiences such as learning a musical instrument, being part of a choir or other performance group, enables children to nurture their creativity and confidence.  They experience the benefits that evolve from continued dedication and practice, whilst developing their skills of collaboration as they work with others towards the common goal of creating amazing performances for others to enjoy.

Music and Performing Arts have always played a very important part of learning at Elmwood. The school is well resourced with specialist music teachers, a wide range of music instruments, and an auditorium and music room for performances.

More details about our extensive Arts programme can be found under Learning – Curriculum  on this website.