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Twins in separate classes? If so, when?

(23 Posts)
Twiceover Tue 13-May-14 14:19:34

I have DT girls in reception at the moment. Both getting on well and really enjoying school. I think DT2 is more settled in her friendships. DT1 is friendly with everyone but has no particular friends.

Now they are settled into school I was wondering whether they might benefit from being in separate classes, both in terms of making their own friendship groups and general independence.

Just wondering if people made the decision to have twins (or other multiples) in separate classes and, if so, when you decided to separate them? And how it worked out?

Or, if you decided to keep them together throughout primary, how that's working out and what advantages/disadvantages it has?

Was thinking maybe Year 2 would be a good time to separate but not sure if they keep the same classes throughout the school (it's infants only) or if they mix them up. YR teacher told me they haven't made the decision yet for Y1. Y3 will be transfer to much bigger junior school so will be quite a disruptive time anyway for them.


Pooka Tue 13-May-14 14:23:15

I think year 3 and junior school would be best idea.

Our school mostly has twins in separate classes from first starting. They don't mix the classes up every year - only if there are issues with a class. So if you made the decision at our school to separate, then one of the children would be going into an already established class, always assuming that there is space because it wouldn't be fair to just move one child from that class to make space.

Going yo juniors, all dcs will be starting in new classes I assume?

papooser Tue 13-May-14 14:57:25

I have twins in Y3 and they were together in reception, then separated in Year 1 (school recommended it). It turned out to be a great idea - one is less socially confident and it gave him the opportunity to gain confidence with other classmates without his brother there. They also got less sick of each other as they were apart for much of the school day. I would have kept them in separate classes if I could but unfortunately we moved and they are now at a small school with 1 form intake. I'm not sure there's an optimal time though - think it really depends on each individual set of twins. If you feel one may benefit from being in a separate class in order to make firmer friendships, now might be the time to do it.

AlpacaLypse Tue 13-May-14 15:01:54

Mine went to a idyllic rural primary with only four classes spread over the seven years so being split up wasn't an option until secondary. They asked to stay together in year 7, which we agreed to, and have nevertheless still made loads of other friends, some shared, some not.

But it really does depend on what your own two are like.

MissSmiley Tue 13-May-14 15:08:23

Most of the schools round here only have one class per year group so splitting not an option. My twin boys would probably benefit from being in different classes in year 3 as they are v competitive with each other.

stealthsquiggle Tue 13-May-14 15:08:57

Twins I know - 1 (B/G) pair in Y2, have been in different classes since YR mainly because parents wanted to give boy a chance to emerge from the shadow of his (bigger and more advanced in pretty much everything) sister. I think other factors will override that in Y3 though so suspect that they will be in the same class - but they do now have very well established, separate but overlapping friendship groups. There is of course no way of telling whether that would have happened if they had been in the same class.

2nd pair - Y6, each other's best friends (although they are both extremely popular and have no shortage of other friends) and in the same class because the classes are streamed and they are of very similar ability, but they would want it that way anyway. At the moment they have everything in common so it works fine - I guess less well if their interests diverge, but they are old enough to deal with it now.

TheEnchantedForest Tue 13-May-14 17:47:39

Parents choose at our school. Most seem to chose individual classes in y1 or 2 but we have had one pair stay together until y6.

Hulababy Tue 13-May-14 17:53:00

t my school, parents of multiples (or indeed any siblings who will be any same year) get to choose. However, they choose before EYFS and they then stay in same classes throughout infants.

We don't mix classes around and it is rare for us to move children between classes. Infact don't think it has happened in all time I have worked there. I think the juniors sometimes mix them before starting Y4, leaving them the same in Y3.

It is very mixed at our school - we seem to have a lot of twins (2 or 3 sets in each year group at least)! We have 2 sets in Y2 at the moment: 1 set together, other set in different classes.

DaffodilsandTruffles Tue 13-May-14 17:56:21

There are several sets of twins in my children's year - all in separate classes from day one.

It's been great for my two in terms of developing separate friendships. I also feel it really helps that the teachers aren't comparing them come parents night. They are very definitely just talking to us about 1 child.
My two love being twins but enjoy not always being 'Daffodils and Truffles all the time.

hiccupgirl Tue 13-May-14 18:35:17

I taught a year group which had 3 sets of twins, all boys. 2 sets were together, one set in each of the 2 classes, the 3rd set were split because the parents requested it. The 2 boys were very boisterous together and also wound each other up a lot so it was felt they would be better with their own space during the school day. They were split from year 1 and it worked really well.
Tbh one of the other sets probably would have been better split too as they also really wound each other up but the parents in this case wanted them kept together.

mummytime Tue 13-May-14 18:51:03

My DCs school has a priority for twins as it has two classes (but only if the twins need to be separated from Reception). As a lot of schools only have one.
It works quite well, as yours have started together I would talk to the teachers about what they think.

Blackjackcrossed Tue 13-May-14 19:14:46

Mine were together from Reception - single entry school so no choice. Disadvantages were many....they sat together as they were of similar abilities, the less confident one failed to develop their own friendships, teachers refused to separate them, the teachers constantly compared their abilities, she discussed one twin at meeting when we had made an appointment to discuss the other.

Problems were caused at home when one child was asked to be a witness against the other in a classroom incident - she felt intimidated, panicked and lied - the other twin felt very betrayed.

Many other things went wrong, but it was a while ago, it was in short a disaster for us. In the end we moved schools so we could separate decision we ever made, so lovely to have teachers who treated the dcs as separate children.

minionmadness Tue 13-May-14 21:47:32

I decided to put my dts's in separate classes right from reception.

Best decision for us, they have both developed individual friendships when before school they were joined at the hip.

They play separately at playtime, although sometimes their respective groups play together.

It has also had a really positive impact on their time together out of school. They play really well together for the most part and if possible their bond has grown stronger from having time apart.

There are another set of twins in their year and their mum has separated them too. They too have flourished.

Comingfoccacia Tue 13-May-14 21:54:02

I have b/ g twins who have been in separate classes since Y1 and the change in ds was almost miraculous! He is now out of his sister's shadow and doing really well. I think with b/g twins it is less of an issue to separate them.

GreenerthanGrass Tue 13-May-14 22:25:11

Do the classes mix around every year? My DTs are in the same class. They could do with being separated now they are KS2, but the classes stay the same throughout the school. It doesn't really seem fair to drag one away from their friendship group. It might have been better to start in different classes

angelcake20 Tue 13-May-14 23:17:33

Parents also get to choose at our primary; only 1 set of twins in the whole school are together (and they're identical so it's rather confusing). All four sets in DD's year are in separate classes. The classes are mixed between Yrs 2&3 but no one has changed their initial decision, at least in the last 4 years.

Blackjackcrossed Wed 14-May-14 07:28:27

And I agree with the other posters who said separating them did wonders for their confidence, they came home bursting with news about what happened in their class - it was something that they uniquely belonged to and they valued that.

When I asked ds what he thought he said, twins need time apart whether they are enemies or best twins are best friends but his friend doesn't get on with his twin, so he sees it from both sides.

MidniteScribbler Wed 14-May-14 08:42:30

At our school twins are always separated unless there is a very compelling reason for it not to happen. We have four classes per year level and classes are changed around every year.

TheElementsSong Wed 14-May-14 10:06:57

My DDs are together in YR, it's the school's policy to start them in the same class unless the parents feel very strongly otherwise. However, they were put in different learning groups from the beginning, to encourage them to learn and play a bit more independently. It seems to be working well for them, as they can still seek each other out when they want to be together, while also doing stuff separately.

The classes are usually kept together for Y1 and then mixed up for Y2 onwards. But school have said that they can separate DDs from next year if it looks like that will suit them.

Twiceover Wed 14-May-14 18:07:39

Thank you, interesting to hear the different experiences. I see most people have chosen to separate.

I wanted the girls to be together in reception as I thought it would be too much of a shock to the system for them to start school and be separated all at once. I didn't really think about how this would have implications further down the line. I thought they mixed the classes up each year (did last year and the year before) so I hadn't really considered it would be a decision that I'd have to stick with for all 3 years they are at the school.

To be fair, their teacher does say they don't actually spend that much time together in the classroom and they are in different groups for everything so lots of mixing up during the day. They do seem to be having difficultly making individual friends but they are v young for the year (5 in July) so perhaps it will come with time.

Twiceover Wed 14-May-14 18:10:01

And I love BlackJackCrossed's DS's comment that twins need time apart whether they are enemies or best friends - very wise boy!

m0therofdragons Wed 14-May-14 18:23:52

I plan to keep them separate from the start so it's never an issue of the year they have to separate. Dd1 is already at school so I will just explain that they each have their own class and teacher. I've seen, in the secondary school I work in, one set of twins who'd always been together then when they started at secondary they were split and the less confident of the two ended up on tablets for depression as she couldn't cope. I imagine that's rare but it did confirm my thoughts. Two sets of twins started at dd1.s school last Sept and they went into separate classes and are doing well.

SpocksThirdEar Wed 14-May-14 21:30:16

My two started off in reception together, were separated for y1-3 and put together in y4 and again now in y5. The teacher asked if I was ok with them being put together as they shared the same best friend and they felt it wouldn't be fair for one of them to be with the friend. I was fine with it, they are perfectly behaved at school so there's no problems in that respect - they leave all their fights for home time!

I don't know if they'll still be in the same class for y6, probably as there's been no problems. They're both the same academically and aren't particularly competitive.

I don't know what happens at secondary but they'll be fine either way, they cope quite happily apart and at one point even wanted to go to different secondary schools.

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