Snapshots

21st September 2001 at 01:00
(Photograph) - A week in the life of Horsford All Saints middle school, Norwich

Children at Horsford had a week-long lesson in parental responsibility when 55 Year 7s spent a week as mums and dads to bags of flour. The project, inspired by Anne Fine's award-winning book Flour Babies, involved strict guidelines - the little ones were never to be left unattended and baby sitters had to be arranged if their parents were away.

Their class teacher at the time, Deborah Jackson, says the children took great care of their charges. Many of the babies were dressed in clothes they had worn themselves a few years earlier, and were named and treated as individuals, even though some of the less tolerant parents were heard threatening to take their offspring home to be made into a cake and eaten.

Deputy head Grahame Chambers says the proud parents took their responsibilities seriously. Although the girls took more care making their babies, boys playing football would take turns to come off the pitch and babysit for the rest of the team as cr ches and emergency repair rooms sprung up all over school. Staff, meanwhile, dealt with endless trails of white spots.

Mr Chambers says the week brought home some of the difficulties involved in looking after children, such as the dire consequences of taking a baby out in the rain without a coat on. And although everyone enjoyed the project, by the end of the week most of the parents were glad to be children again.

Mr Chambers says the week was a runaway success and will definitely be repeated, "although next time we might concentrate more on waterproofing".

Snaps by Deborah Jackson and Grahame Chambers

How much did she weigh? Mums-to-be Chloe, Abby and Rebecca choose their bags

Bundle of joy: Sam shows off his little one

Careful, Mum! Watch where you stick that nappy pin

Happy families: some of the proud parents and their charges

Working parents: Nadia and Laura solve their childcare problem by taking the kids to work

That's my boy: James junior is football crazy, just like his dad

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