Brigid Comrie

Senior Early Literacy Specialist

Brigid has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Cape Town, a Diploma in Specialised Education from the University of South Africa, a Speech and Hearing Specialist Diploma from UCT, and a Parenting and Leadership Certificate from the Parent Centre. She worked for the Western Cape Education Department where she was responsible for managing Learning Support in the mainstream, and subsequently as a freelance education specialist. She is the author of several textbooks published by Juta’s. She is a founding member of Wordworks, and designed and developed the Home-School Partnerships Programme.


Gaynor Cozens

Early Literacy Specialist

Gaynor has been a Foundation Phase teacher since 1981 and has been involved in education ever since. She studied at Wesley Teacher Training College, Roggebaai College and UCT. She has served in education in various capacities such as teacher, facilitator, manager, head of department and author. She has authored several books in mathematics and life skills. In January 2018, after retiring, she joined the Wordworks team, having implemented the Wordworks’ Home-School Partnerships Programme for four years at Merrydale Primary School. She believes in the value of this programme and the need for it in the country.


Lavinia Davis

Early Literacy Specialist

Lavinia retired in 2016 after 38 years in Education. She qualified with a Diploma in Primary School Teaching (PTD) at Hewat Training College and completed a Diploma in School Librarianship (DSL) at UWC. Lavinia taught mainly in the Intermediate Phase and a short stint in the Foundation Phase – Grade 3. She progressed through the different management ranks to principal and retired in this post after 15 years. Lavinia did short management courses and mentored Principals/Educators in our circuit in conjunction with the Circuit Manager. As the Principal of the school, Lavinia’s passion has always been about literacy. She trained as a Wordworks Facilitator when it was offered to the schools and introduced the Home-School Partnerships (HSP) Programme to the school. Lavinia started working, part time, at Wordworks in January 2018 as a Mentor in the HSP Programme.


Faheema Hassiem

Early Literacy Specialist

Faheema is a retired Learning Support Educator. She qualified as a Foundation Phase teacher at Wesley Training College and has completed further training at Hewat Training College. After years of teaching in both the Foundation and Intermediate Phases, she completed a Special Needs Educational Diploma at the University of the Western Cape and proceeded to work in Learning Support for over 20 years. Faheema co-ordinated two Wordworks programmes (Home-School Partnerships and Ready Steady Read Write) at her school for 5 years. She joined the Wordworks team, part time, as a Home-School Partnerships programme mentor in 2018.


Bukelwa Yuze

Early Literacy Specialist

Bukelwa, who has a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree, came to Wordworks from the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development where she specialised in support for Grades 2 and 3 between 2011 – 2015. Prior to that she had 19 years of teaching in the foundation phase in Cape Town. As a teacher trainer, Bukelwa has a special interest in isiXhosa and English literacy, and the promotion of early reading. She is an advocate for the holistic development of the child with an emphasis on child-friendly classroom management, and with a strong interest in inclusive education.

Senior Early Literacy Specialist

Sue has a Diploma in Junior Primary Education from Rhodes University and has experience teaching children in the foundation phase at regular schools and at schools for deaf children. She has completed a TEFL course and has experience teaching children and adults English as a second language. After she qualified with a Diploma in Special Education from UNISA, she worked at Herzlia Primary as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and later headed up the Learning Support Team.




Colleen Diedericks

Home-School Partnerships Programme Manager

Colleen was a Foundation Phase subject advisor for 7 years in the Metro South Education District. She has 26 years of teaching experience in both intermediate and foundation phase prior to becoming a subject advisor. She served as the Head of Department in Foundation Phase for 8 years and holds a B.Ed Degree, a Diploma in Specialised Education as well as a Primary Teachers’ Diploma. After serving the WCED for 32 years, Colleen worked as a READ Educational Trust trainer and teacher mentor and then at UCT in the SDU unit after which she joined the Wordworks Team.


Asanda Mphala

Early Literacy Specialist

Asanda studied E.C.D. level 5 at the College of Cape Town in 2009. After completion, she worked as a Grade R practitioner at Nosapho Educare where she discovered her passion for early learning. She then furthered her studies at the University of South Africa where she is completing her B.Ed in Foundation Phase. In 2011 she was appointed as a Grade R practitioner at Intshayelelo Primary School. During that time she was a lead teacher for Ikhwezi project from UCT and the Metro East District of Education. She also volunteered as a CAPS document facilitator for Grade R practitioners and H.O.D’s in isiXhosa. In addition she was a lead teacher for the Wordworks Stellar programme. She has joined Wordworks in 2017, specially focusing on the Home-School Partnerships Programme.


Ruth Stafford

Early Literacy Specialist


Sarah Florence

Early Literacy Specialist

Sarah is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. She has many years of experience working at Special Schools or in private practice with children with specific learning difficulties. She has also participated in many literacy or language programmes supporting children in low income areas or who are being taught in English but where English is not their home language. Sarah joined Wordworks in 2017 as a specialist to support the Ready Steady Read Write Programme.


Gail Lindsay


Gail joined Wordworks in 2016 as a Mentor to support the Ready Steady Read Write (RSRW) Programme. She was previously Coordinator of the flourishing RSRW Programme at West End Primary School, and has helped set up the Programme at Springdale and Woodville primary schools. Gail has been working in the community, since the age of 13, in sport, youth groups and as a counsellor. She was introduced to the Wordworks Home-School Partnerships (HSP) Programme when she was running an aftercare from home and then she attended RSRW training. She has stayed involved with Wordworks ever since. Gail also assists the HSP Programme as a teacher-facilitator.


Paulene Solomon

Ready Steady Read Write Programme Manager

Paulene holds a Bachelor of Primary Education (B Prim Ed). She has 17 years teaching experience; 13 of which was in the Foundation Phase. She was seconded for a 9 month period to Metropole South Education District as a Foundation Phase Curriculum Advisor. During this time, she also co-authored educational materials for both Intermediate and Foundation Phase. After leaving teaching, she worked for the READ Educational Trust for 8 years as a literacy trainer, coach and mentor where she was involved in a number of government and privately funded literacy projects.


Faith Shabangu

Early Literacy Specialist

Faith has previously worked as a Senior Community Manager for Dlalanathi and a Process Facilitator for Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action in Pietermaritzburg, KZN. Her experience in community development includes facilitation of trainings, mentoring, social justice work, leadership and skills development. Faith’s interest in community development has focused on child development and protection processes. The guiding principles in her work is that everybody can think and act in their own situation, and that you should not do something for someone if they can do it themselves.