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.

 

Sue Setton

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.

 

Ntsiki Ntusikazi

Early Literacy Specialist

Ntsiki holds BA (Hons) (specialising in IsiXhosa) and B.ED degrees. She has been a teacher, Western Cape Education Department (WCED) IsiXhosa curriculum adviser and has been a Nguni language Publisher for ten years, publishing Grade R-12 language books. She is also a published author of literacy materials covering FP to FET. She has done both pre-servicing and in-servicing of teachers as a mentor and a trainer.  She has developed the in-service training manuals for WCED. For the past three years, before joining Wordworks in 2020, she worked as an InterSen mentor, supporting teachers with classroom management, planning and learner engagement. 

 

Cheryl Ann Thomas

Early Literacy Specialist

Cheryl has 34 years of teaching experience in the Intermediate Phase, Foundation Phase and Special Education. She has served in education in various capacities including teacher, coach, facilitator, manager and Head of Department. While teaching in Ocean View, she implemented the Wordworks Home-School Partnerships Programme at Kleinberg Primary School.She has authored several books in English as an additional Language as well as in Mathematics. Cheryl was a Foundation Phase Subject Advisor for 5 years. After leaving WCED in 2019, she joined the Wordworks team as a trainer and mentor in the Home-School Partnerships Programme. When Cheryl is not involving herself in Education she can be found strolling on the beach or relaxing on the beach with a good book.

 

 

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

Ruth retired in 2007 after 40 years of teaching in Foundation Phase and Intermediate Phase. Her passion has always been Early Childhood Development. Ruth joined Wordworks as Co-ordinator of the Early Literacy Programme (now Ready Steady Read and Write) in 2011 at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Retreat. She became a RSRW trainer and mentor in 2014.

 

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

Mentor

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.

 

Natasha Rosen

Early Literacy Specialist

Natasha completed a certificate and diploma in Early Childhood development at College of Cape Town in 2010-2011. During this time, she volunteered at an ECD and primary school in the Kewtown community which is situated in Athlone, Cape Town.  In 2014, she became the Grade R teacher at Athlone North Primary School where she taught for six years. During her years at Athlone North Primary School she completed a certificate in Adult Facilitation and Training. She also obtained an assessor.  She is currently completing a B.Ed Foundation Phase at the University of South Africa. Natasha is extremely passionate about contributing to the development of young children as well as adults.

 

Kerry Saadien-Raad

Early Literacy Specialist

Kerry is an experienced Foundation Phase teacher who has spent 15 years writing fiction and non-fiction storybooks as well as radio stories, educational books and materials for young children in South and Southern Africa. Kerry is passionate about Literacy in its many forms and has a particular love of children’s picture books. She has experience in training and mentoring.  Kerry joined Wordworks in 2020 working as a mentor in the Ready Steady Read Write Programme and as a contributor to the Little Stars Programme.