Schools

In a slight change to our usual top ten tips, we have asked a number of twin mums some questions about whether they kept their twins together or separated them when they started school. This should give you all some food for thought, particularly for those who’s children are due to start school this September.

Tammy Barter Cooksley

  1. What sex are your multiples? Girl/Boy
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Fraternal
  3. Which school do they go to? Buckingham
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Different
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? Give them both some space, create their own identities and friendship groups.
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? Supported and discussed it with me
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? Yes very happy as are Zara and Alex
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? They are really blooming as individuals. The twin who gets bossed around by the other gets a break.  What have been the main cons of your decision? The amount of parties
  9. Any other advice you would like to add? Each twin set are different. Do what you feel is right for them.

Annyck Clenet

  1. What sex are your multiples? I have boy/girl twins now aged 7 (year 3)
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Fraternal
  3. Which school do they go to? St Richard Reynolds Catholic Primary in Twickenham.
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? The same
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? It’s a one-form entry so we didn’t have a choice.
  6. What have been the main pros? Knowing my two it has been good to keep them together initially in Reception & Year 1. Even though they are in the same class they have different friend groups and being in the same class has made play dates and parties easier as they all know each other really well.
  7. What have been the main cons? If we had a choice we would from year 2 have liked to have been able to split them. This is mainly because one is finding school easy and the other less so, and it’s very hard for them not to have direct comparison e.g. The levels of spellings they get, homework etc.

Lucy Della Ragione

  1. What sex are your multiples? Female
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Identical
  3. Which school do they go to? Jack & Jill (private, we were given our 5th choice of state school)
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Different
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? When pregnant I attended a few of the Queen Charlotte talks from the multiple birth foundation, they talked through the research and highly encouraged it. This definitely helped my decision. They need time apart to blossom, foster their own friendships and have time to shine on their own, I also didn’t want the teacher to keep mixing them up.
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? School suggested it, they’ve actually been in different groups since nursery when they were 3, I think they are much more confident individually for it.
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? Absolutely
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision?
  9. I think they are both confident at being apart and don’t rely on each other too much, it also lessens the comparison etc. but they are in a small private school so 2 forms and only 14 in each class.
  10. What have been the main cons of your decision? The amount of birthday parties!
  11. Any other advice you would like to add? Trust your own judgment you have to do what works best for you as a family.

Petra Stanek Aston

  1. What sex are your multiples? Boy/Girl Twins
  2. Are they identical or fraternal?  Fraternal
  3. Which school do they go to? St James
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Different classes
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? Schools policy
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? I was very upset about this at the beginning but have come to believe that they needed to be separated for many reasons.
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? Happy with it and kids love it, they have their own teacher, their own friends etc.
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? They’ve made their own friends and developed their own personalities. They are seen as individual children and not as twins all the time. It’s stopped them being compared and I also think they shouldn’t be together 24/7 as that can’t be any good.
  9. What have been the main cons of your decision? Birthday parties and play dates…. amount of school emails, and different class events, etc.
  10. Any other advice you would like to add? I personally don’t think you would know any different, every child is different and every school is different.

Irene Missen

  1. What sex are your multiples? Boy Twins
  2. Are they identical or fraternal?  Fraternal
  3. Which school do they go to? St Cuthbert’s in Englefield Green
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Same
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? This school was my first choice and is a one-form entry. However our secnd choice was a 2-form entry and in that case I would have split them up. However as my boys had been quite independent from each other alreat at nursery I wasn’t too worried about them being in the same class
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? As the school was a one-form entry there was nothing to discuss however I did make it clear to the teacher that I wanted them separated as much as possible and the teacher has from day one been treating them as if they weren’t even siblings.
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? I am very happy with where we are.
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? They are together, but in a way they are not. They are now in year 1 and they are still very independent. They have some joint friends and some on their own. They have plenty of separate play dates and completely different interests. One is slightly more advanced than the other, but it is not an issue at the moment.
  9. What have been the main cons of your decision? None
  10. Any other advice you would like to add? In my opinion, twins don’t need to be in separate classes to develop individuality, it is already in them; it is down to the teachers and parents to encourage and allow them to go off and develop that further. Just go with your gut instinct and make the best of your decision.

Michelle Peters

  1. What sex are your multiples? Girls
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Identical
  3. Which school do they go to? Walton Oak Primary in Walton on Thames
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Different classes
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? Our girls are very close, and were struggling to socialise with other children, so although we were initially a bit apprehensive we decided to separate them.
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? Yes the school was very supportive and encouraged us to separate them. They would have been equally happy with our decision had we decided to keep them together.
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? Very happy, the girls are thriving in their separate classes and have made their own friends. The classes do mix sometimes and they see each other at break times, so they do see each other during the day.
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? They are making their own friends and gaining confidence
  9. What have been the main cons of your decision? None for the girls although for me I do now have two sets of teachers and class activities to deal with! Any other advice you would like to add? Go with your instinct and don’t be frightened to separate them!

Clare Brown

  1. What sex are your multiples? Boy and girl
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Fraternal
  3. Which school do they go to? Carlisle Infants, Hampton
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Same class at my request
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? I thought this would make the transition to school easier for my very shy daughter. This was also the advice of their nursery, given how hard she had found it to settle there.
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? The school’s default policy is to separate but they fully respect parents who want to keep them together.
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? We are very happy with the decision. They mix the classes up in year 2 so I might request that they are separated then.
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? I think it was the right thing for my daughter in particular.
  9. What have been the main cons of your decision? No cons really. Being a boy and a girl they are naturally developing their own friends along gender lines and their teacher has reported that they don’t spend that much time together in the classroom and that you wouldn’t necessarily realise they were twins.
  10. Any other advice you would like to add? Do whatever you feel is right for your twins and don’t separate just because the school normally do that. Personally I think the arguments for separating are less compelling when you have boy/girl twins.

Christine Madigan

  1. What sex are your multiples? Boy twins
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Identical
  3. Which school do they go to? St Edmunds in Whitton
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Different
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? Because they are identical and I wanted them to have their own identity. Also one really relied on the other.
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? We sat with the head and discussed it.
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? Yes they are doing well
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? The twin that was very reliant on his brother has become more confident and as they are working at very different levels it’s good for them to be apart.
  9. What have been the main cons of your decision? None
  10. Any other advice you would like to add? Do what you feel is right as here is no right or wrong answer. We were so surprised how well it’s worked and it gives the boys some time apart as at home they are generally together

Tracey Nichols

  1. What sex are your multiples? Boy and Girl
  2. Are they identical or fraternal? Fraternal
  3. Which school do they go to? Newland House
  4. Are they in the same or different classes? Different
  5. What are the main reasons for your choice? We wanted them to be seen and for them to see themselves as individuals and thought separate classes would help this.
  6. Did the school support your decision or did you have to persuade them? School fully supported our decision, they phoned us to ask what we wanted to happen
  7. Are you happy with your decision and if not did you end up changing the original arrangement? Definitely happy. For many more reasons than we even thought of before the split.
  8. What have been the main pros of your decision? The best thing for them was that they were so excited to have something of their own – their own teacher, their own classroom.They have a time apart during the day, (they do get sick of each other by the end of the holidays). They have their own friendships, have a chance to have some secrets from us- ie I always hear about what happened in the playground from the other twin. It’s nice they have somewhere private. As one twin is more academic than the other, separate classes mean the other twin doesn’t have to directly compete.
  9. What have been the main cons of your decision? None at all, although in the first term of reception it was a bit difficult when one twin received a couple of party invitations before the other one. But this was a small thing and once they realized they were both going to  go to lots of parties it was no longer a problem.
  10. Any other advice you would like to add? Do what you think is best for yours but also remember your twins might surprise you too. Mine grew up a lot during the summer before they started and although one was really shy and I was unsure how it was going to go….that twin absolutely blossomed once they started school and had their own space.