In 1929 Carnac Street Central School, a Secondary Elementary School, was opened for children up to the age of 14 by the London County Council.
In the 1930s the school became known as West Norwood Central School. Following the Education Act 1944, the schooling system in the United Kingdom was restructured, and in the early 1950s, the school became a Secondary school.
In 1960/61 the school became a primary school for children up to the age of 11 under the new name of Elm Wood Primary School. This is thought to be because the area, which was once part of the Great North Wood was once strewn with elms which is reflected in many other local names such as Elm Court Road, The Elms, Elmsworth Grove, all within a half mile radius of the school.
Due to overwhelming demand for places and significant over-subscription as an outstanding school, Elm Wood has already taken three additional classes, undergone a new extension to the main building and is receiving significant financial investment to permanently increase in size to two classes in every Year Group. This will further enhance our already excellent learning spaces, including specialist music and ICT rooms, as well as a range of learning support spaces.