Lisbeth Swanson

Liz established StoryWays Literacy following an extensive period of inquiry, collaboration and practice in oral language intervention. She has over 30 years of experience in education, including a Principal position and working in support services. First and foremost, Liz is a classroom teacher, passionate about bringing a storytelling approach to the forefront of learning and teaching. She has seen first hand where teaching the storytelling way can transform student engagement and accelerate reading and writing outcomes, Liz enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to help every teacher bring creative and effective teaching to their kete-aronui (basket of pursuit). 


Judy Sachdeva

Judy has been involved in the development of our organisation right from the start. She has many years of experience as a classroom teacher, Senco, Gifted & Talented coordinator and team leader. Judy has proven excellence in teaching the storytelling way and has raised the confidence and aptitude of many young writers. Most importantly to our future development, Judy writes stories and non-fiction text that will be published with our own storytelling materials, a publication that will support learning through our diverse New Zealand narrative.


Lissa Toscano

Lissa acts as our lead advanced teacher, helping to coordinate ongoing creative collaboration and the teacher inquiry across our advanced storytelling teacher network. 

As a classroom teacher and Team Leader at Belfast Primary, Lissa has been on a Storytelling journey with her school for over 4 years.  She is passionate about Storytelling. In her words, "Storytelling brings literacy to life and promotes my students' oral language as the foundation of their literacy.  My students all start on a ‘level playing field,' regardless of their prior content knowledge or experiences. I am able to immerse them in a story and bring it to life in a wide variety of ways, developing their ability to generate ideas within an authentic context. The children's imaginative thinking has grown! I have seen a huge improvement in writing and specifically in their ability to apply new vocabulary and take some risks in writing."


The Canterbury Team

Across Canterbury, we provided advanced training for a team of strong advocates for teaching the storytelling way. They now feedback and share data from their respective schools, continue to develop expertise in the method, and network with other storytelling teachers. Each, in their own way, support our advanced teacher programme. They are often the first to trial StoryWays Literacy materials for future publication, test driving the stories we write for our New Zealand context.


Collaboration UK 2016-2018

StoryWays Literacy began its journey through teacher inquiry. This included the opportunity to visit schools in the UK where a storytelling approach was well established. During this time we were fortunate to work and collaborate with Chris Smith, Director of Storytelling Schools in the UK. In 2016 and 2018 we contracted Chris to provide training and support to our pilot school educators. This cumulated in a conference for our five pilot schools in September 2018 where Liz & Chris offered training & networking for 'deeper' learning and expertise in working with storytelling pedagogies.