Oh baby, what have I let myself in for?

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A special delivery of virtual babies has made a big impact on a group of Leyland students - and a Guardian reporter.

Fifteen electronic dolls went home from Friday to Sunday to be fed, burped, changed, rocked and cared for by pupils at Wellfield Business and Enterprise College.

Guardian reporter Kay Taylor also signed up to the challenge.

The project was part of a new Child Development GCSE course at the Yewlands Drive school, and is intended to demonstrate the full-time commitment required to parent a baby.

Students raised £200 towards the cost of the project – which came to more than £600 in total from Life Choice Ltd – by carrying out cake sales and similar events.

Teacher Zoë Smith said: “The weekend gave our young people a virtual experience of how challenging it can be to parent a baby, and will allow them to make informed decisions about their future life and career choices.

“We get a report from each baby on how well they were looked after and we use this to discuss with the students how well they did, or did not, care for their baby.

“The project will also provide a significant advantage for our students when they are faced with exam questions on care of a newborn next year.”

- For the full feature, as well as Kay’s take on the experience, see this week’s Guardian.




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