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Twins: Has anyone made the decision to separate twins into different classrooms?

(34 Posts)
NinaTneurons Fri 08-Jan-16 18:07:16

Hi, first and foremost I have twins aged 9 (boys).

Both attend a small Church school and have therefore shared the same classroom since reception.

Initially, I thought this was for the best but am beginning to question it.

In addition, I'm doing research for my psychology degree. I'm looking into the experience of parents who had/have decided to separate their twins.

I'd be really grateful - if you have had this experience please get in touch.

Thank in advance.

tkband3 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:22:16

My twins have been separated since reception (they're now in year 6). It's general policy in our LEA, unless they attend a single class school, but even had it not been policy, it would have been my choice. I have identical girls and I felt it was important to help the develop their individuality and independence. I think they have benefited from it - they have their own friendship groups, but are also friends with each other's friends. It has stopped their teachers comparing them (although they have been frequently taught together as they are in the same set for maths and literacy).

The only downside has been a couple of years where I've felt that one has had a significantly better teacher than the other one. But they are both doing extremely well academically and are very happy and settled at school, so it hasn't affected them in the long term. They are both independent and mature and very ready to go to secondary school, where they will probably be separated even more.

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Fri 08-Jan-16 18:29:15

Mine were together in p1 and 2 at our request, then separated in p3. They needed to be together to start as they had spent very little time apart and were coming to a school where many people knew each other but they knew no one but each other.

To traumatic to combine their first day at school with the first time they were apart.

They are not at all alike though so have no issues doing different things from each other.

We separated them at p3 to stop them from being compared.

Pengweng Fri 08-Jan-16 18:31:21

Our school doesn't have a twin policy but they did state that they are kept together unless the parent specifies otherwise.
Mine will only start Reception in September but unless i see a reason to separate (one more dependant on the other to the point of causing issues) then I will be keeping them together.
They attend the nursery attached to the school and the teachers say they don't play much together and they do have different friends at this point. They could not be more different in both looks and personality though so I think if they were ID I would probably have a different POV.

At this point with your boys being 9 and only having a few years left at primary I wouldn't move them to a new school because you want them to be in separate classes especially if there are no issues. You could see if they wanted to do a different activity and gain separate friend sets that way if it is bothering you.

NinaTneurons Fri 08-Jan-16 18:41:04

Hi tkband3 - how long ago were your twins in primary school?

Apparently, schools are not to have a blanket policy - and if they fail to consider parent's wishes then you can contact the LA to investigate. Did the school decide to separate your twins or did the local authority?


greengreenten Fri 08-Jan-16 18:41:33

Mine were together throughout primary then went to different high schools. Works fine. No issues. Different personalities, different needs, independent friends. All good.

ProfGrammaticus Fri 08-Jan-16 18:50:05

There were non identical twins at my kids' primary school placed in different classes. They went to different secondaries as we are in a selective LEA and one did and one didn't pass the eleven plus. They were no more similar to one another than to their other siblings, one of whom passed and one didn't.

There were a pair of identical twins placed in the same class there too. They both passed and have gone to the same secondary.

No changes were made throughout the seven years of primary, so both sets of parents must have been happy with their decisions.

NinaTneurons Fri 08-Jan-16 18:50:08

Thanks Pengweng.

I can't move either one of the twins because there is only the one class per year. I'm eager for them to start secondary where it's likely they'll be separate.

Hulababy Fri 08-Jan-16 18:51:42

At my school parents are given a choice - and they then stay together in infants. The junior school - not same school but most of our children go there - keep the classes the same in y3 unless very specific reasons given. They are split in y4 or 5 iirr - I think whether to keep twins together or not must be done via consultations between school and parents, though not sure.

IME it seems most popular with parents to keep them together when they first start school, though some are indeed split and this works very well in my experience too.

Rivercam Fri 08-Jan-16 18:54:15

My sister and I were separated during primary years. During senior school, we were put in the same class. That was a mistake as teachers could me peer tell us apart.

Washediris Fri 08-Jan-16 19:19:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiaowTheCat Fri 08-Jan-16 19:33:58

Last school I taught at tended to put twins together unless parents specified otherwise - I had three sets in the last class I taught!

I don't have twins, but I've got an 11 month age gap which thankfully falls so that they're in separate academic years - although at the moment I'm very happy they're at preschool together because it's made DD2 really confident and easy to settle in there, and I get a better picture of what she's up to because her big sister grasses her up at every opportunity - it's also something I'd be concerned about if I didn't trust the preschool staff to manage her elder sister's somewhat "steamroller" personality and encourage the quieter and more easy going DD2 to speak up for herself.

I've always been OK managing to tell identical twins I've taught apart, but then I've cousins who are identical twins so I've grown up tuning into the differences I guess.

Ladyofthepalace Fri 08-Jan-16 19:37:50

Two sets in our year - invariably separated.

suitcaseofdreams Fri 08-Jan-16 20:04:47

I have non ID boys who are in reception. All the schools I spoke to had no formal policy, but worked with parents and preschool (where relevant) to decide what was best for each set of twins. As it turned out the school they now attend is one form entry so they are in the same class. So far no problem. They are apparently working at the same level so are in the same group for now but that could all change as they get older. Personality wise they are very different and whilst they get on really well, they don't depend on eachother so I have no issues with them being in the same class.
As they get older I may choose to separate them (infant school so when they move to juniors in yr 3 they will go to a 2 or 3 form entry school) or not, really depending on how they are at that age.
No right or wrong answers I think - comes down to the individual twins I think :-)

tkband3 Fri 08-Jan-16 20:12:01

They're currently in year 6. I think it was both school and LEA policy, but if we'd had objections we could have discussed the issue with the school.

To be honest though, because my twins are identical, I had never considered putting them in the same class and wouldn't have considered a single form entry school for that reason - I really wanted them to be treated as individuals. They were in the same class at the school nursery and it became clear to me halfway through the year that one of the teachers had no idea how to tell them apart, despite my best efforts to differentiate them. They even stuck the wrong photos in their 'special books'!

Pipbin Fri 08-Jan-16 20:18:35

I teach reception and we have had at least one set of twins for in each intake for the last 5 years.
We don't have a formal policy but we tend to encourage parents to split twins. It gives them a chance become their own people. They can be together at break times and during free choice.
I have never yet seen a twin seek out or ask for their sibling. Most don't even acknowledge them during the day.

Boogers Fri 08-Jan-16 20:21:05

Yes, DS went to infant school with two twin boys who were separated into different classrooms (large intake meant split classes of 17 children in each) and what's more the year 2 teacher was their mother and ended up teaching one and not the other! They were lovely boys, always seemed happy and didn't affected by being separated at the time.

FrancesNiadova Fri 08-Jan-16 20:30:44

I'm a twin and I was separated from my twin in reception & year 1, but we were together for the rest of our schooling.
There are positives and negatives to both decisions.
All you can do is make a decision based on your children, with the proviso that you can review & change it if necessary.

suitcaseofdreams Fri 08-Jan-16 20:46:23

I can certainly see why parents of ID twins would be more likely to separate them
Mine look like brothers for sure but are non ID and easy to tell which is which. They also have very different personalities and hence play/interact differently with both teachers and other kids
I will review as they get older but for now they seem to be thriving in the same class...

Inkymess Fri 08-Jan-16 22:53:48

I am not a parent of DT but know at least 9 sets. 7 have been split up and parents are totally happy as each twin has chance to be an individual and develop their own friends and interests - esp where identical. 1 set are in same class but are polar opposites in every way so they have different friends. 1 set are B/G twins in same class and never seem to play with anyone else more than occasionally (with some of the girls) , and even that is together. The boy seems to have no male friends and the girl seems to live in shadow of her brother. All the teachers I know say split them if you can to let them develop at their own pace and develop as individuals

Havingafieldday Fri 08-Jan-16 23:05:55

Standard policy in the primary ours went to was to split them unless parents requested otherwise but I only ever heard of one set staying together and that was because they were the youngest of a large family and the mum couldn't face more teachers and class politics than she needed to

NWgirls Fri 08-Jan-16 23:40:59

My friend's non-identical twins were together at nursery - where it was obvious to everybody that one twin was completely dominating and controlling the other. Separated from reception with clear benefits for both of them.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 09-Jan-16 00:19:19

My DT are separate as I wanted them to make their own friends - DD is competitive and DS is laid back - he wouldn't cope with her mothering him and being bossy!! They have their own groups but due to school policy never mixed for wet play or lunch etc .... DD has now moved into a different school as she needed to move class and they weren't 'allowed' in the same class.

Washediris Sat 09-Jan-16 07:01:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vestandknickers Sat 09-Jan-16 07:12:06

My twins were together in reception and then have been split since year 1. They've been fine, very happy at school. They are very very close, but I think they May have bickered and distracted each other if they'd been in the same class,

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