Growing Explicit Literacy - Our 'Why'

GEL empowers leaders and kaiako in building the knowledge and capability to implement a Structured Literacy teaching approach in their schools.

What we offer is the expertise necessary to implement a successful and sustainable Structured Literacy approach, as well as tools and resources that are based upon research and practical application. 

We are committed to ensuring schools are confident in implementing and refining their Structured Literacy practice, as such we tailor our Professional Learning Development to meet the needs of individual schools. 

We do this because we believe an explicit Structured Literacy approach is best designed to meet the needs of the akonga in our schools. 

Our Faciliators

Jade Silva

Bachelor of Teaching - University of Waikato, BSLA Facilitator micro-credential - University of Canterbury, Master of Educational Leadership - University of Waikato - Currently on hold

Jade is an experienced leader of learning and literacy, she has held numerous roles including Acting Principal, Deputy Principal, and SENCO. In 2023, Jade completed the BSLA Facilitator micro-credential; she has worked alongside a range of age groups, from New Entrant to year 8. She has also assisted teachers in developing structured literacy practices.

Jade was previously part of a school team who were finalists in the Prime Ministers Education Excellence Awards in Leadership and Governance in relation to their schools writing approaches. Jade has a strong base of culturally responsive practices; her passion is empowering leaders and teachers to be the best they can be in order for tamariki to reach their individual successes. 

Kath Stewart 

Bachelor of Education - University of Waikato. 

Kath is a skilled educator with a wealth of experience in supporting neurodivergent students and those with specialised learning needs. Within schools and private tutoring practices, Kath has functioned as a teacher, as well as a leader of professional development.

Kath graduated from Waikato University with a Bachelor of Education degree. She has performed relief teaching work across a range of year levels in Matamata, Hamilton, and Ngaruawahia. In 2017, Kath began teaching year 1 students at Waipa Primary School, and currently teaches at Forest Lake School.

As an ORS teacher, Kath’s has facilitated the learning of those with autism, ODD, and ADHD. Since 2019, Kath has assisted Mindfull Tutoring in developing and implementing a Structured Literacy approach. 

Claire Howarth

AMADA Member, IMSLE Certificate, MEd, GradDipPrim, GradDipMkt, BSocSci, TESOL Cert .  

Claire is a highly regarded and sought after literacy expert, she leads the largest private team of Structured Literacy teachers in the Waikato. 

Having worked in schools as a lead teacher and in private practice, Claire has a wealth of curriculum knowledge. In 2021, Claire completed her Multisensory Structured Literacy certificate through the Australasian Dyslexia Association to go alongside her Master of Education degree (first class honours).

The approach Claire employs has been refined to ensure that student-needs are being met, rather than students being forced to fit an existing programme. 

She strongly believes empowering educators will ensure success for all.

What we offer

We work directly with schools to ensure leaders and kaiako are able to utilise their existing knowledge as educators and school resources to build a sustainable Structured Literacy approach. 

What does it look like?

GEL works with leaders, kaiako and teacher aides to develop a collective understanding of how to grow a sustainable schoolwide Structured Literacy approach (Tier 1, 2 & 3).

We do this by first building an understanding of where your staff and students are at currently.From here, we grow an awareness of the purpose (or 'Why') of Structured Literacy as well as the methodology, with a focus on explicit, systematic, and cumulative practices. This means the practice features clear instructions for students, and is taught with the utility of the learning in mind.

This inclusive approach facilitates the growth of all learners, and is adaptable to the needs of neurodiverse students. 

To ensure any Structured Literacy approach is sustainable, we also provide ongoing support to clients through face to face and online coaching/PLD.

GEL's aim is not to upsell you on a set of glossy resources; we instead focus upon providing PLD that is catered to the needs of the kaiako and students at your school, utilising pre-existing resources and building from there where necessary. 


Get in touch with us today to learn how we can support your school in its Structured Literacy journey

Contact us to learn more about GEL
- Growing Explicit Literacy

Jade Silva Phone: 027 877 0198
Claire Howarth Phone: 022 478 0475
Kath Stewart Phone: 027 710 0266