It's Hardly A Toy!

by Gerry Lynch last modified 06 May, 2015 02:13 PM

Sarum Academy students learn what parenthood is really like with Mothers' Union-sponsored "virtual babies"

Pupils from Sarum Academy got a real taste of what it’s like to be a parent as they took part in a ‘Virtual Baby’ project last weekend in partnership with the Mother’s Union. 

This hands-on experience saw pupils looking after a cyber baby for a whole three days. The computer programmed babies cried, needed feeding, nappy changes, burping and rocking throughout the day and night, based on the schedule of a real baby! 

How pupils responded to the needs was recorded by how they handled the baby and a report was produced at the end of the process. The project was designed to inform pupils about some of the realities of parenting, and will continue for another 6 weekends with different sets of pupils involved.

Dr Hussain, who teaches Health and Social Care at the Academy commented. “This project helped pupils to realise that babies require a great deal of time and attention, and change parents’ lives profoundly.” 

Joanne Woodd from the Mothers Union said, “For me the main focus of the project is for the youngsters to learn more about themselves, for example how they deal with stress, tiredness and difficult situations.”

Danielle, aged 15 who took part in the project remarked, "I loved this experience, it was so amazing but I know I don’t want to have a child yet because I’m not old enough and it woke me up so many times in the night – I like my sleep!”

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