Elmwood Learning Community Cluster

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This learning community cluster includes one state primary school, one state intermediate school,  one special school, four independent schools and five early childhood education providers.



  1. Elmwood Normal School
  2. Heaton Normal Intermediate
  3. Ferndale School
  4. Selwyn House School
  5. St Andrew’s College
  6. St Margaret’s College
  7. Rangi Ruru Girls’ School

Early childhood education (ECE)

There are 217 licence spaces across the early childhood education (ECE) providers in this cluster, including 12 spaces for children under two years of age. At July 2011,  266 children enrolled at early childhood services in this cluster, 12 were children under two. Of the 102 new entrant students who enrolled at a school in the Elmwood Cluster in the year to March 2012, 102 (100%) had attended an ECE service. Of the two Māori new entrant students, 2 (100%) had attended an ECE service. No Pasifika new entrants enrolled in a school in this cluster.


  1. Fairleigh Kindergarten
  2. Minnies Preschool
  3. Rangi Ruru Preschool
  4. Selwyn House Preschool
  5. St Andrews College Preschool

ECE services are independently owned and managed.

School governance

There are three types of schools: state, private (or registered or independent) and state integrated schools.

State integrated schools are former private schools which, while now “integrated” into the state system, also provide programmes around their particular religious or learning philosophy.

State and state integrated schools, while government funded, are managed by boards of trustees. Private schools receive only partial funding from the Government.

Day to day management of all schools is the responsibility of the principal.

The Crown is responsible for property provision for state  schools to ensure students have access to their closest school. The proprietors of state integrated and private schools are responsible for their own buildings. The Elmwood cluster includes one Special school, and three Independent schools. School boards are required to develop individual charters and annual plans and report their performance against these.  You will be able to access the school charter from your school or at Find a school.

Education Review Office (ERO) reports on school and early childhood performance are publicly available.

Elmwood cluster ERO review cycle

Elmwood Normal School 3 years
Heaton Normal Intermediate Under Review
Ferndale School (Christchurch) 3 years
Selwyn House School 3 years
St Andrew’s College (Christchurch) 4-5 years
St Margaret’s College In progress
Rangi Ruru Girls’ School 4-5 years

School roll changes

Image showing total Elmwood cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Total cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

In March 2010, prior to the earthquakes, the primary schools in this cluster provided teaching and learning to 1456 students. While individual rolls have fluctuated, the combined primary roll in this cluster has declined by 168 to 1288 at March 2012.

Individual school March rolls, 2008, 2010, and 2012:

Note: only roll data for primary schools in this cluster is displayed.

Image showing Elmwood cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Elmwood cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The following chart shows the ethnic composition of the combined cluster school rolls by percentage of total combined roll

Image showing ethnic composition of Elmwood cluster.

Elmwood cluster: ethnic composition.

Education achievement

National Standards aim to lift achievement in literacy and numeracy (reading, writing, and mathematics) by being clear about what students should achieve and by when. Boards were required to report on learners’ achievement for 2011 in the 2012 Annual Report. You will be able to access National Standards data for your school from the Find a school section of the Education Counts website as soon as this information is available.

Special Education

Ferndale School (day Special School) is situated within this cluster, although students attend from a wider area. The Blind and Low Vision Network of New Zealand (BLENNZ) Visual Resource Centre servicing Canterbury, and the Southern Region,  is situated on-site at Elmwood Normal School. Special Education delivers specialist services and support to learners with special education needs across this cluster. This includes support to early childhood education, schools, teachers, parents, families and whānau.

Māori and Pasifika provision

Māori-medium education programmes involve students being taught either all or some curriculum subjects in the Māori language, either in immersion (Māori language only) or bilingual (Māori and English) programmes. There are no Māori or Pasifika bilingual units, or language programmes delivered by schools in this cluster.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision

ESOL provision for refugee and new migrant learners from non-English speaking backgrounds is provided to 7 primary learners in two schools in the cluster.


Technology provision in this cluster is located at Heaton Normal Intermediate.

Land – State schools only

School sites sit outside the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) land classification process and will not be given any Technical Category foundation rankings, though the land in the surrounding residential area of thiscluster has been classified TC2 and TC3. Geotechnical assessments on the state school sites in this cluster indicate land issues are unlikely to compromise continued education provision.

Further Ministry commissioned assessments may be required at a later date, should any of these sites be further developed.

Buildings – State schools only

There are 52 teaching spaces included in the 5,777 square metres (net area, which is internal useable space) of teaching and learning and administration space across this cluster of schooling provision. The teaching, learning and administrative space is incorporated into 31 actual buildings. All of these buildings suffered damage during the earthquakes.  Repairs have yet to be made to the building stock. Condition assessments confirm over time earthquake strengthening will be required across 12 of these buildings within the cluster. There are weather tightness issues in a further 10 buildings.

Building condition information – State schools only

Number of buildings Number of buildings with EQ damage Number of buildings with strengthening required Number of buildings with weather tightness repairs required Number of buildings with both strengthening and weather tightness repairs
Elmwood Normal 18 18 5 8 1
Heaton Normal 13 13 7 2 1
Cluster 31 31 12 10 2

Based on March 2012 rolls – a minimum of 44 teaching spaces will be required for ongoing teaching and learning in this cluster, as below

School rolls and classroom numbers – State schools only

March 2010 roll Classroom (no.) current (July 2012) March 2012 roll Estimated classrooms required at March 2012
Elmwood Normal 539 27 478 19
Heaton Normal 566 25 523 25
Cluster 1105 52 1001 44

The way forward

Extensive condition assessments and engineering investigations have confirmed all buildings in this cluster remain fit to occupy – unless already isolated. A number of the buildings across this cluster will, however, require remediation and strengthening over the longer term.

Future planning

The earthquakes provide an opportunity, as outlined in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb], to consider options for revitalising the greater Christchurch education network that go beyond simply replacing what was there. Discussions with schools, communities and providers within this cluster will be key to informing decisions around the future shape of education for the Elmwood education community. Ways to enhance infrastructure and address existing property issues, improve education outcomes, and consider future governance will form part of these discussions.

Community engagement

There will be conversations with boards of trustees to establish how schools in this cluster can not only restore services but also deliver improved outcomes for their education communities. In line with the support signalled in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb] for improved collaboration, this will provide an opportunity to gain further suggestions around shared provision across schools and services within specific areas of interest and the wider community, as appropriate.

Check out the engagement schedule for further details.

Secondary Schools

Secondary, state integrated and independent schools located within these clusters will be involved in discussions around the future shape of provision within their education communities.

The Ministry has worked collaboratively with secondary schools on ideas for future secondary school education provision in greater Christchurch.  In October 2013, the Minister of Education announced decisions for the secondary school network.

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