Our School

Elmwood Normal School is a decile 10, U6 State Contributing Normal School and is situated in beautiful grounds in the central city suburb of Merivale.  If offers a six year programme from which most children proceed to intermediate schools.  As a Normal School, it has a partnership with the Christchurch College of Education and the NZ Graduate School and regularly hosts students for teaching practice and for demonstration lessons.  The school also attracts visiting teachers and students from overseas.

This school is well served by the individual talents of all staff members and the Elmwood Normal School community is diverse, supportive and enriching.

Parent involvement is a strong feature of the learning programmes at Elmwood Normal School. The ideal that responsibility for children’s learning should be a partnership between parent and school is increasingly being realised.

Some facts about the school


  • Founded in 1882 on was originally sited in the Merivale Anglican Church and known as the ‘St. Albans Side School’
  • 1908 was renamed as the Elmwood District School.
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The War Memorial was unveiled by the Minister of Education on 26 February 1921. It was erected in memory of the 154 Elmwood boys who served the Empire in the Great War 1914-18.
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1954 ‘Normal’ was added to the name.  “Normal” comes from the French word Normale – meaning ‘model’ or ‘teaching’.
  • The school celebrated 100 years in 1982 and 125 years in 2007.
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The school has a partnership with UCCE and the New Zealand Graduate School of Education involving pre-service teacher training.
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Contributing State Primary School
  • Caters for Y0 – Y6 children
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Roll range: 500 – 600
  • Decile 10 school
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All staff members enjoy a set of agreed employment core values.  These are: Excellence (hiranga); Creativity (auaha); Empathy (aroha); Collaboration (mahi tahi); Independence (motuhake)
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The school has an enrolment scheme.
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The majority of enrolments come from within the school’s home zone.
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The school’s intakes of International Students is small (maximum of 12)
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The school’s vision is “to inspire today’s learner’s to be successful in tomorrow’s world”.
  • The vision statement for the school is expressed in the motto ‘Striving to be the best that we can be’.
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The parent community is educationally aware, has very high expectations and strongly supports the school’s vision and strategic goals.

Our point of difference

  • Elmwood Normal School is a significant stakeholder in pre-service teacher training with particular focus on providing models for teaching practice.
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Our teachers have responsibilities within their employment conditions to provide pre-service teacher training.
  • 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.
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Our teaching and learning strategic direction has alignment with the training programmes offered at the UCCE and the New Zealand Graduate School of Education.