Education Case Study – John Marwick

The Resilience Project at Forrest Hill School.

Student wellbeing has been a focus for Forrest Hill School and our community of schools (Kāhui Ako) since 2018. We started our journey looking and understanding mindfulness with all staff going through an 8 week professional development course. In 2019 we were invited by the Tania Dalton Foundation to become a TRP pilot school in 2020.

Our school Principal John Marwick and 3 other NZ Principals travel to Melbourne to see the programme in practice and hear Hugh speak at a public event.

We visited a variety of public and private schools and were impressed with how the students developed strategies and skills to deal with both trauma and the day to day stresses of life. The programme also aligned with our research and thinking around student wellbeing, that we had undertaken in 2018.

2020 was our first year running the programme. The GEM pillars had an immediate impact on our students and teachers and was a noticeable extension of our mindfulness work. Although the students had only just started to be involved in the lessons the learning was important to help support our students during the first level 4 Covid lockdown. Our teachers found the lessons invaluable during the home learning and the key ideas of gratitude and empathy really became vital.

At Forrest Hill School, the school community really latched on to the “Dis moment” idea. School staff started recording their own dis moments during lockdown and shared this on our daily news platform. This gave a chance for our school community to see into the lives of our staff. Very quickly parents started sharing their own dis moments by making short video clips for the news. This had a major positive impact on the wellbeing of our community. The videos of parents interacting with their children and identifying what they were grateful for where inspiring.

The momentum continued when students returned to school. We have found the the TRP has been instrumental in developing a resilient culture at Forrest Hill School. It is still early days but we have already noticed students taking mindful moments, empathising with each other and purposefully taking the time to notice things to be grateful for.


John Marwick


Forrest Hill School