andrea Ford

I have an extensive and varied background in education. Teacher, Principal, Associate Director of the Principals Development Planning Centre, facilitator, conference presenter, and coach. My facilitation and coaching has been both Nationally and Internationally.

carolynne Masson

I am passionate about understanding and improving teaching and learning through collaborative projects and innovation. I am experienced in learning through play and child development. I am co-creator of the Ready for Learning Foundation Skills framework.


vince Ford

I am a father, a trained teacher and author of books for children and teens. At the New Zealand Children’s Literature Awards, I've won the junior fiction and best first book awards in addition to children’s choice awards in the junior fiction and teen categories.

Jenni Dittmer

I have worked nationally and internationally across primary, intermediate and secondary schools for over thirty years. As a teacher, senior school leader, project lead, professional development facilitator and coach I am passionate about improving educational outcomes for students, staff and whanau.

nicole Lowrey

I am a NZ teacher and researcher with over 15 years experience working in primary schools and early childhood settings. I am devoted to producing excellent outcomes for our tamariki through making the curriculum more accessible to learners through play and readiness for learning.

victoria Sweeney

I have experience in both teaching and leadership positions in Primary and Early Childhood settings. I am passionate about bridging the gap between the two settings and understanding the link between neuroscience and education. I have experienced great success implementing the Ready 4 Learning Framework at my current school and it has significantly strengthened learning outcomes for our children. I've undertaken PLD in Learning through Play and Structured Literacy and utilise them both in my teaching practice. I am driven by the desire to ensure all children experience learning success and build strong foundations to enable lifelong learning.

toni Howard

I have been teaching for over 30 years with a break in the middle to have my sons. I have held varied roles over this time including a classroom teacher teaching through play and structured literacy, team leader roles, and an Associate Principal. I have also been a conference presenter and Play Coach. I am so excited now to be supporting our educators to grow their understanding about child and brain development so they can seek out evidence based pedagogies and practices that complement this knowledge to ensure our tamariki continue their journey of learning.

annette Pram

I am a teacher and team leader with many years of experience working with Year 0/1. I am passionate about working alongside children in supporting their social and emotional development which leads to fostering their executive functioning skills. I have led a team of teachers to embrace, create and have a growth mindset. We implemented a play-based learning approach within the junior school, which was exciting, challenging, and innovative. I believe in looking at the whole child as the curriculum empowers their learning as well as ours and learning through play allows children to naturally thrive and discover in their world. My driving force is to support teachers in creating learning environments that are fun, playful, full of wonder and provide an array of positive learning experiences for all children. The structured literacy approach is also a new development in many New Zealand schools, something we implemented into our junior school last year. Integrating play, foundation skills, math, science, social studies, literacy, arts, key competencies, and all the other areas we teach can be done in a play-based classroom.

lisbeth Swanson

Working in education has been my profession and my passion for over 30 years. I have enjoyed roles in school leadership, specialist support services, and now in delivering and supporting professional learning and development. My experience spans early childhood, primary, high school, and special education settings, in a career divided between Scotland, North America, and New Zealand. Hence, I have a broad knowledge, deep understanding, and expertise in recognising quality indicators, planning for, and collaborating to achieve best practices in education. My particular strength is in promoting effective literacy pedagogy and practice with a method that anchors teaching and learning in oral storytelling. This develops and accelerates learners’ receptive language and communication fluency. Branded as StoryWays Literacy, I present, coach, and mentor others to unlock the powers of teaching the storytelling way. I am also experienced in recognising and ‘unpacking’ the facets of learning difference and disability. I support schools to balance programmes that deliver essential constrained and unconstrained literacy skills, to meet the needs of all learners. Following literacy focussed PLD, I offer consultation, research, and design, to provide schools with an integrated cycle of learning, often writing materials specific to a localised curriculum. Weaving stories across the curriculum delivers content learning and ignites inquiry in history, social studies, science, technology, and across the arts. Hopefully, I have many more career years to share the ‘storytelling way’, and its model for curriculum integration, with schools.

sue McVey

Kia ora. I love teaching and have been working in education for over 30 years! I am always learning myself and am excited about being part of other teachers' learning journeys in this new role. I have taught in primary and secondary school classrooms, worked in Special Education and in The Arts and am currently the Assistant Principal at a primary school in sunny Gisborne. I lead a Year 0 - 2 team, work in literacy support, teach the ukulele, play the guitar and sing! I am passionate about ensuring our tamariki have a smooth transition from ECE to primary school and have seen first hand the positive impact that Play Based Learning and structured Literacy can have on tamariki.


"Kia ora, I'm Rosie Whitley, hailing from Gisborne, New Zealand. I've recently embarked on an exciting journey as an independent education professional under the banner of LitLab. My career has been a diverse one, with various roles within the education sector, culminating in my current role as a Specialist Teacher of Structured Literacy. Currently, I'm in the midst of IMSLE (Institute of Multisensory Structured Language Education) training. I hold a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning, and I've also explored the realm of speech and language therapy (3 years training). These diverse paths have converged into a unique blend of experiences that I bring to my work. One of my greatest joys is making learning a fun and engaging experience for tamariki (children), utilising a wide array of resources and digital tools. My ultimate goal is to enhance educational outcomes not only for students but also for staff and whānau, creating a positive ripple effect in the community."


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