John Paul College Year 12 student, Reilly White, has had her design ideas come to life in the new John Paul College Kindergarten classrooms which were officially opened on August 31.
Reilly, who attended the same Kindergarten 13 years earlier, worked alongside the architect, Cameron Davies from Deicke Richards Architects and contributed to the planning of the art studio spaces, ‘The Nest’ and ‘The Burrow’. The spaces allow the College’s youngest learners to represent their ideas through different kinds of media.
Reilly shared her vision for the design process as “an opportunity to share reflections of when I was at Kindy at John Paul College. Building an environment that was more natural not a plastic playset was important, and the use of the external topography added to the organic approach.”
When Reilly attended Kindy back in 2005, there were only four part-time Kindy classes in two classrooms. Demand for full-time Kindy places has grown significantly and the College now offers full-time, two part-time and two mixed Kindy and Pre-kindy classes across five classrooms, including the recently extended classrooms and playscape.
Of the current Year 12 cohort, 26 students started their John Paul College journey in either the Early Learning Centre or Kindy.
Other features of the extended Kindy facilities include low level kitchen benches and gardens that have already facilitated children cooking some of the produce that they have planted, cared for and harvested from the gardens outside their classroom.
“We wanted to reflect the nurturing and meaningful encounters children have with their families at home in the kitchen. We talked about how to create a space that reflected the children’s right to be fully engaged in the cooking process in a natural homelike environment,” explained Mrs Helen Weissenberger, Chair of the John Paul College Board.
The outdoor environment was designed in consultation with children to invite more ‘natural adventure’.
“The children proposed “ropes to climb on like monkeys” and “big logs to jump on” and this is reflected in the carved timber posts and ropes, along with the varying sized log steppers present now in the new outdoor playground,” said Helen.
Reilly says it was an incredible to undertake work experience on a project and place that held such fond memories for her.
For now, Reilly will concentrate on the final term of school and has applied to commence a Bachelor of Design (International) Majoring in Architecture degree at QUT in 2019 – a degree that will see her undertake a year of study in London. She is already well advanced in her studies having received a Distinction in a first-year architecture subject as part of the START QUT programme.
START QUT is a scholarship that gives Year 12 students the chance to test-drive potential study areas by studying one or two university subjects alongside their high school studies.
Kirsty Jarrett, QUT School Liaison Officer, said Reilly had excelled in by receiving a Distinction grade in Semester 1.
‘Juggling school, university studies, and other commitments can be tough, but it’s fantastic to see Reilly achieving such high results and it reflects the dedication, organisation, and enthusiasm she showed throughout the semester. No doubt this is also an indication of her future success as she heads into her final months of high school. We congratulate Reilly on her achievement and look forward to seeing what is next for Reilly,’ she said.
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