KATIE SHARP
JUNIOR SCHOOL

How curious, and how wonderful, that piles of cardboard destined for the tip can be repurposed to fuel the collective imagination of our students.

Katie Sharp is a Junior School Teacher who has been teaching at Queenwood since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Education (Honours) degree in Early Childhood and Music. She is involved in the Cambodia Teacher Training Project and is a member of the Indigenous Projects Team.

If you are fortunate enough to visit the Junior School during box week, you will see small red shoes peeping out from beneath cardboard submarines, the more daring girls surfing down the slide on improvised hovercrafts and groups of peers eating their lunch in imaginary life rafts.

How curious and how wonderful, that piles of cardboard destined for the tip can be repurposed to fuel the collective imagination of our students. Box week was Mrs Sharp’s initiative. Much of her 30 years’ teaching has been spent investigating how to develop young minds through play, a subject she studied in depth when a staff scholarship took her to Froebel College in London and throughout the UK, to explore her thesis.

Mrs Sharp describes how a Wendy House can become a shop or a mechanic’s garage, or a pile of cardboard boxes can be the starting point for a design and construction project. Children take on roles such as foreman, builder and architect, allowing them to develop active listening, response and negotiation skills.