Teacher wellbeing builds collective resilience

How did Waitati Primary School address wellbeing?

In 2022 leadership at Waitati Primary School, near Ōtepoti / Dunedin,  took action to address supporting teacher wellbeing. They chose the wellbeing programme delivered by CORE facilitator, Anne Kenneally.

The programme is designed with evidence-based strategies that support maximum impact for whole learning communities.


Our strategies are beginning to be embedded. Resetting our classroom culture is the greatest benefit for our ākonga. We take a strengths approach, building the language of wellbeing so that it’s spoken, seen and caught. Enabling ākonga to be their best selves is our shared goal.” says principal, Tara O’Neill.

Anne worked with the school to customise and develop personalised strategies that worked to build collective resilience. The course design helps teachers find ‘aha’ moments, giving permission to focus on ‘self’, slowly putting their own wellbeing into practice. The culture of the workplace is re-prioritised.


I loved how practical it is. We found our walks groundbreaking. Buddying up with another teacher, going for an hour's walk to connect and share. Leadership releases teachers for these walks and we now make it part of our routine,” says Tara.

Participants found that ākonga benefitted as well. They discovered that observing teachers modelling and living wellbeing is extremely powerful.

The school’s advice for those considering this programme would be:

  • We need to look after ourselves, treasure our ākonga and colleagues. 
  • We need to look after ourselves, treasure our ākonga and colleagues. 
  • It brings such joy to be able to prioritise wellbeing in our profession.
  • Just do it – it is at the heart of supporting teachers as professionals.

 Photo: Waitati Primary School Principal Tara O’Neill with ākonga at the school

I don’t think we understood how essential it was for ourselves and our ākonga to have wellbeing as the foundation piece of learning”, says Tara

Explore our Hauora - Wellbeing programme