Virtual babies give Portchester Community School pupils a taste of life as parents

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BEING a parent is said to be one of the hardest jobs in the world.

And now children at Portchester Community School have had a taste of that life by taking home virtual babies.

The Year 9 students are studying health and social care and were tasked with looking after a baby for the weekend.

The babies are programmed to cry at various times throughout the day and night.

The pupils then have to try and work out what is wrong with them and what they might need.

Amber Gauntlett, 14, said: ‘It will be a good experience. I’m excited.

‘I’m nervous because I want my sleep. When I’m older I want to look after little children. This is good practice.’

Issy Fearnhead-Clark, 14, added: ‘I am excited.

‘I look after my baby cousin a little but it will be interesting having them for the whole weekend.

‘It is a bit scary, but it’s not that bad.

‘It’s a good thing to do for the practice and just to get an idea of what parenting life will be like.

‘I think that it might put kids off having babies.’

Issy wants to follow in her mum’s footsteps by working in a care agency and looking after elderly people in the local community.

Krystina Shaw is a health and social care teacher at the school.

She said it is a good project for them to take on.

‘It’s part of their health and social care course,’ she said.

‘We have just looked at babysitting and this follows on from that.

‘This way, they can appreciate what it’s like having a baby.

‘It’s about getting them to realise the demands of having children. I don’t think they realise about the demands.’

The students collected the babies at 4pm yesterday and will have to look after them until 7pm tomorrow.

It means they will be carrying out all parenting tasks including feeding, changing their nappies and putting them to bed.

Miss Shaw added: ‘It’s a brilliant idea. It’s about how we grow up, from when we are born until we are elderly. This is about getting an understanding of how we develop.’




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