CORE's Team

Sue Bridges

Accredited Facilitator (English-medium)


1990 National Dip. Educational Management, Christchurch College of Education
1988 M.Ed. (Dist.) University of Canterbury
1988 Diploma in Education of the Deaf, Christchurch College of Education
1988 Advanced Dip.Tch. Christchurch College of Education
1984 B.Ed. University of Canterbury
1983 T. Coll. Dip (dist) Christchurch Teachers’ College
1982 B.Sc (in Psychology) University of Canterbury

Contact details


P: 0800 267 300

M: 021 569 041

Accreditation Number: ACC 262

Region: Canterbury

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Sue Bridges

Professional experience 

Sue joined the CORE team as a facilitator in January 2015. She works as Cross-regional Team Literacy Facilitator, supporting the Learning with Digital Technologies facilitators across New Zealand. She is also the facilitator of the TKI Primary Literacy Online listserv. Her Gathering Thoughts weekly updates are read by approximately 1300 educators, librarians etc throughout Aotearoa. She is also a mentor in the UChoose programme.

Sue has a wide range of skills and experiences gained through teaching across primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in mainstream and special/additional education settings. She has extensive experience of distance and online/blended learning practices, as well as face-to-face, and has led the learning of children, student teachers, teachers, and senior management.

Before working with CORE, Sue spent 23 stimulating years as a teacher educator at the University of Canterbury (UC)/Christchurch College of Education, holding various leadership and team roles in literacy, education, professional studies and practice, inquiry-based learning, and numeracy. She was also an active, published researcher; and marker of theses for other universities. 

Sue’s background includes primary teaching, team leadership and Education of the Deaf in several Christchurch schools. Her role as a UC Professional Practice lecturer allowed her the opportunity to visit many schools around the country, and the privilege of observing and discussing the affirmations and transformations that schools are making as they move towards new learning and teaching practices.


Sue offers expertise and support including the following priority learning areas:


Successfully supported facilitators and learning communities to:

  • boost capability to lift literacy achievement of all learners in reading, writing and oral language
  • engage in deeper pedagogical connection to current thinking about literacy learning
  • engage learners through development of digital fluency
  • boost the engagement and achievement of reluctant boy readers and writers
  • explore and use relevant best-fit digital and non-digital tools to meet learners’ literacy needs within a balanced programme
  • use data effectively to lift achievement; especially target students
  • empower student, whānau and community voice, relationships and involvement in authentic contexts of literacy development
  • use children’s literature to effectively enrich and extend literacy skills.

She is actively involved in the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Literacy Association. 

Future-focused education 

Successfully supported learning communities to:

  • evaluate current practices and identify future-focused goals
  • co-construct realistic and reflective action plans.

Evaluative capability

Successfully supported learning communities to:

  • identify target students from analysis of achievement data
  • collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data about students from multiple sources
  • regularly reflect-learn-implement using the spiral of inquiry framework.

Digital fluency

Successfully supported learning communities to:

  • self-review e-learning practices and capabilities to identify and target areas for improvement
  • increase student engagement and achievement through the use of appropriate and relevant digital technologies.

Sue also has extensive experience and expertise in inquiry-based learning; effective pedagogy and practice, and Deaf Education.

Conference presentations, keynotes, seminars, workshops

Keynote speaker:

  • 2016: School Librarians Aotearoa New Zealand (SLANZA - Chch) - keynote and workshops
  • 2016: International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Congress
  • 2016: Reading Recovery Tutor Trainers, Auckland

Publications (selected)

  • Bridges, S. (2016) Books Hanging in the Balance? Aotea Centre, Auckland. IBBY International Congress, Aug 18-22 2016.
  • Bridges, S. (2015) TKI’s Literacy Online: Strengthening Communities of Practice. LIteracy Forum 30 (3).
  • Bridges, S. (2015) Guest editor and author of several articles. Literacy Forum 30 (2).
  • Parkhill, F.F., Fletcher, J.F., Greenwood, J., Grimley, M. and Bridges, S. (2013) Who says you need to teach reading to 11-13 year olds? Education 3-13 41(2): 160-177.  
  • Bridges, S.J. (2012) At the Dome in the Park. Reading Forum New Zealand 27(3): 41-42.
  • Bridges, S. and Searle, A. (2011) Changing workloads of primary school teachers: 'I seem to live on the edge of chaos'. School Leadership & Management 31(5): 413-433.
  • Bridges, S. (2010) Does Text Language Find its Way into Primary Classrooms? University of Warwick, Coventry, UK: BERA Annual Conference 2010, 1-4 Sep 2010.
  • Bridges, S. and William, J. (2010) Engaging Distance Students: Ethical Inquiries. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE) 1(4): 228-236. (PDF, 1.3 MB)
  • Bridges, S. and Gilmore, F. (2010) Getting it Straight: The Difference Between Inquiry-Based Learning and Teaching as Inquiry as Taught to Prospective Teachers. Waikato Journal of Education 15(1): 79-96.
  • Bridges, S. and Searle, A. (2010) Tomorrow's Schools Today and Yesterday: Workloads of Primary School Leaders and Teachers in Self-Managed Schools. University of Warwick, Coventry, UK: British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference 2010.
  • Fletcher, J., Bridges, S., Greenwood, J., Grimley, M. and Parkhill, F. (2009) What supports reading achievement? What doesn't? 10 to 12 year old students in New Zealand in five schools voice their views. The Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy 4(3): 56-86.


2014 International Travel Award, Marie Clay Literacy Trust

2006 Literacy Travel Award, NZ Reading Association

Personal statement

Working long-term in education with learners from many diverse age groups, cultures and experiential backgrounds, has reinforced my belief in these cornerstones of educational practice:

  • Know the learner in order to empower.
  • Establish strong professional relationships.
  • Connect ‘best-fit’ learning and teaching strategies to specific learners,  mindful of context.
  • Ensure balance in approaches to learning - what meets individual learners’ needs; not tool-driven
  • Celebrate learning as a social constructivist activity.
  • That the most powerful learning is authentic and meaningful.