Sarah Whiting

Accredited Facilitator (English-medium)

M: 021 986 202
P: 0800 267 300
Region: Canterbury/Chatham Islands

Sarah Whiting


Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Qualified Teacher Status in Initial Teacher Training and Biological Science: Specialising in Early Years (Ages 3-7) Worcester University
Diploma in Coaching SIT

Professional experience

Sarah has worked for Tātai Aho Rau, CORE Education, for over 6 years supporting individuals, teams and organisations to make meaningful and sustainable changes in their practice.

She has a wealth of experience coaching and mentoring leaders to better understand themselves and those around them and supporting them to navigate their professional and personal lives by setting goals and moving forward

confidently and purposefully.
Sarah has also played an active part in Grow Waitaha. From providing personalised support to schools, to organising and facilitating group events and capturing stories of impact, Sarah demonstrates her innate ability to build relationships, focus on what is important and human centred design to develop opportunities.

She has also been involved in research projects close to her heart, such as the Transitions to School project. This experience demonstrates her continued commitment to learner agency, partnerships with parents and communities and redefining success for all learners.

Prior to working at CORE, Sarah worked in a variety of schools both in the UK and in NZ. Her most recent experience being five years spent at Clarkville School, where she worked as the junior team leader and co-leader of the pedagogy team. These roles involved developing cohesive collaborative practice across the school as well as a personalised curriculum. She also developed a personalised learning programme to support learners in leading their own learning independently.


Sarah has expertise in the following areas:


Successfully supporting leaders, schools and Kāhui Ako:

  • coach and mentor support to grow self and others
  • support around observations and professional grow cycles
  • use research and specific context data to establish areas of change
  • identify and develop a personalised pathway for implementing change
  • redevelop school/cluster vision, values and personalised curriculum to reflect their context and community
  • enhance pedagogy and practices to ensure they reflect future-focused education and responsive practices
  • support leadership of change within the whole school community
  • establish and utilise ways of involving all community members in the change process.
New Entrant (Foundational Learning)

Successfully supporting kaiako, schools and Kāhui Ako to:

  • establish and embed transition to school processes that reflect every learner and their whānau
  • utilise Te Whāriki to build a holistic, learner centre curriculum
  • identify strengths of ākonga
  • personalise learning experiences to reflect each ākonga
  • focus on what matters and to understand the learning that occurs in different contexts
Key competencies (including social and emotional learning)

Successfully supporting kaiako, schools and Kāhui Ako to:

  • review their current practices – what is supporting ākonga socially and emotionally and what can we do better?
  • understand the barriers to learning and how to overcome these
  • weave key competencies through all learning
  • work with ākonga to find opportunities to enhance wellbeing for all ākonga
  • develop an inclusive culture in which all ākonga are seen, heard and can thrive.

Successfully supporting kaiako, schools and Kāhui Ako to:

  • understand the importance of science learning for ākonga
  • unpack the nature of science and explore the opportunities to embed it in their curriculum
  • develop a science curriculum that reflect the local community- the opportunites ands needs it brings
  • explore science learning opportunities in Literacy and Maths
  • move past science being ‘fun experiments’
  • empower ākonga to be scientific (see themselves as scientists).
Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories

Successfully supporting kaiako, schools and Kāhui Ako to:

  • connect with local iwi, and tangata whenua
  • understand the content of the curriculum and build a personalised approach to teaching and learning that reflects their local curriculum
  • appreciate and active their obligations as treaty partners to provide teaching and learning opportunities around the histories of Aotearoa
  • develop a plan to support the teaching and learning of Aotearoa New Zealand's Histories.

Conference presentations, keynotes, seminars, workshops

2021 GRow Waitaha Celebration Event, Te au kawe whakaaro
2021 GRow Waitaha, Learning through play
2021 uLearn, Reigniting the spark- coaching and mentoring
2021 uLearn, summary of finding from transition to school project
2021 National Literacy Association (Bay of Plenty) – Worlds Build Words: Imaginative Play and Literacy Learning
2020- 2021 CORE, seminars and webinars on courageous conversations and growing others
2020 WENZ: Reigniting the spark in a child’s eye
2019 National Literacy Association (Taranaki): Literacy and Learning through play
2017 NRCC conference:Supporting Students as Mentors
2016 DEANZ, Engagement and retention in an online community of learners
2016 CPPA Conference, in association with with Massey University - Microhacks in education
2016 Marlborough EdVenture, Getting your agency on! What it really means and how we can utilise it in education
2015 uLearn, Hack-schooling and Collaboration
2014–16 CORE workshops on building and leading collaborative teams, learner agency and modern learning practice.


Te hautū i te awa whiria o ako | Supporting pathways to lifelong learning for children in English-medium schools
NZLA Literacy Forum 2019 Volume 34 No 3: Transforming Literacy Learning through play
DEANZ Conference Practice Paper: “All’s well that ends better”: Engagement and retention in a collaborative online community Lachlan McLaren, Joanne Robson & Sarah Whiting, pg 195 (PDF, 4.4 MB)
The contribution of teacher effectiveness maps and the TACTICS framework to teacher leader professional learning James G. O’Meara, Sarah Whiting & Thomas Steele-Maley

Personal statement

I strive to ensure that all schools are the nest within their communities – a place where everyone belongs, feels connected and is able to flourish.

I have been mentoring and coaching leaders and teachers for over 10 years, listening and responding to their needs and supporting them to find their own transformational journeys. I get a real sense of achievement out of working alongside people, providing them the space and time to identify their goals, strengths and the pathways they can take to achieve. Seeing people grow and move forward with purpose is what drives me and I love the most about my role!