EARS stands for Education And Resources for Students. EARS students are students at school who are available for other students at school to talk to about anything they may not feel comfortable discussing with their friends, family or the school counselor. 

At our EARS camp, each of our current EARS students participated in activities to train them to be able to work to the best of their abilities. Our school counselor, Kim To’angutu, helped to train the students along with Mike and Samanda, Thames High School’s 24/7 youth workers. 

EARS students help to provide a feeling of safety within the learning environment of Thames High School. They allow students to feel less alone and give them a non-judgemental person who they feel able to talk to about anything they feel they should. It also gives the school a way to manage the environment without forcing students to talk to someone they feel they don’t trust. As EARS students can be anyone, someone could speak to a close friend who happens to be an EARS student if they so desire. 

In these photographs, the EARS students are demonstrating an exercise that requires them to work together in smaller groups to attempt to build the tallest rock tower possible. This is because this is an activity that requires good communication skills, which is something that EARS students need to have, especially when they are conversing with another student. 

On the day, many team building activities were done. They consisted of activities that required trusting each other (shown in photos), discussions on how to be EARS students and what that requires, creating posters, and discussions about confidentiality.  There was also time for the EARS students to just relax and get to know each other. Many of the students decided to play volleyball or soccer.  Special thanks to Te Mata Lodge for allowing us to use you beautiful property.

There will be more training days for the EARS students throughout the rest of the year.

Grace Wood – Student Leader