Exploring the Beginning of Life

December 2018

Exploring the Beginning of Life

Students worked in groups to consider when life truly begins.

A group of 31 GCSE Religious Studies students in Years 10 and 11 have visited the Centre for Life in Newcastle to take part in a thought-provoking workshop, which considered the point at which life truly begins.

The group first attended a premature babies workshop, where they explored their understanding of foetal development and the beginning of life. Students were asked to consider a number of questions including at which stage they determined life had truly begun; was it at conception, birth or quickening? When does the baby have the potential to become who it may be? How does our understanding of the primitive stages of human development affect how we treat the unborn?

Students then played the role of Hospital Ethicist, using their knowledge of the quality of life, and the value of life, to make complex decisions about patient care. Throughout the workshop, students were encouraged to debate their personal opinions and consider how their new knowledge may have challenged their previous views. For many, the experience provided them with a whole new perspective on the value of life and a greater respect for preserving it.

The group also enjoyed the experience of the Planetarium to further their understanding of the development of the universe and when, how, who or what created it? Students considered the views of Science alongside religious belief in reaching their own conclusions.

It was a fantastic day of learning for our young people, finished off with a chance to demonstrate their ice skating skills to Christmas music on the rink outside.

King James I Academy, South Church Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7JZ