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TWINS - Has Anyone in the South East Region Separated Their Twins at Primary School?

(29 Posts)
NinaTneurons Thu 04-Feb-16 13:22:17

Hi all, I am interested in your stories as parents - have you put your twins through school where they started out together in the same class/reception class but then as they got through the years you decided to ask the school to put them into separate classrooms?

Also, are you based in London, Kent or Surrey?

I have twins myself and have been through this scenario. I am doing a research project for my degree and wanted to know how this experience had been for other parents. I would really appreciate your input!

Thanks, Nina.

MMmomKK Thu 04-Feb-16 16:26:02

In our school with 2 class entry - there were two sets of twins. They were separated right from Reception. School policy.

Worked well - kids got to develop independence and own friends. Also - saw a lot of each other - during breaks, lunch, some joint lessons.

notagiraffe Thu 04-Feb-16 16:29:02

Separated from the start. Even did different days at nursery. They needed the break from each other. It's always worked very well for us. Having them together would have been a disaster as one is dominant.

twinkletoedelephant Thu 04-Feb-16 16:34:26

I'm in Surrey the school my twins go to automatically separate multiples. The were on the same group at nursery at it didn't go well. They don't play together and prefer to do different things. There are 3 sets of twins in the year group only one set of parents wanted them together, but wanted them to go to the school more I guess as there are in different classes.

I am a twin and we were put in the same class I hated it. We were always called the 'surname, twins Nd my sister constantly swapped our name badges around so I would get in trouble... bitter

NinaTneurons Thu 04-Feb-16 17:20:37

Thank you for your messages.

I'm amazed that some schools still automatically separate the twins. According to the TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association), schools should not have a blanket policy and should consult with parents.

ArabellaRockerfella Thu 04-Feb-16 17:38:45

Our school automatically separates twins on entry.

Dungandbother Thu 04-Feb-16 18:13:31

Not me but a friend applied her triplets to the only nearby school to have 3 form entry under social element of admissions. She lived too far away for normal entry.
This was accepted by the borough.

However my school (same borough) has 45 intake and class split is vehemently by date of birth so twins are always put together. (Unless they were listed 15/16 and 30/31 of 45.

All twins are in same forms at any rate. There are three sets in DS class.

hornetgirl Thu 04-Feb-16 19:12:47

My Twins were in a 1 form entry school from reception until year 3 end. Initially it was OK, but it became clear in year three that they were stifling each other and not making progress.

This year I moved them to a bigger primary school and we separated them, everything has improved. Work, behaviour, weekend behaviour. Definitely the right decision, but probably wouldn't have been right in reception.

Kazkiss82 Thu 04-Feb-16 19:19:30

My boy girl twins are in year two and have been together the whole time. The school is two form entry . I was asked my preference and school listened . I have never had any issue with them being together . Separate friends and abilities etc. Maybe because they are boy/girl rather than same sex. Saying that the other twins in the school have also been kept together . We are in Kent

NinaTneurons Thu 04-Feb-16 20:10:22

Hi Kazkiss82, have you thought about separating your twins into different classrooms?

NinaTneurons Thu 04-Feb-16 20:11:42

Hi hornetgirl, why did you change school? Was the previous school not allowing the separation?

MidniteScribbler Fri 05-Feb-16 07:45:34

Our default position and recommendation is to separate. There's only been a few parents who really demand their twins in the same class, and generally after the first year they realise that separation is actually a good thing.

NinaTneurons Fri 05-Feb-16 08:07:58

Thanks MidniteScribbler, I'm actually looking for exactly those types of parents who initially may feel that their twins should be together but then later want to separate them.

Please PM if you know or can tell me a little more about this type - perhaps friends of yours who don't mind sharing their experience?

MidniteScribbler Fri 05-Feb-16 08:16:57

Sorry Nina, I don't personally have any friends with multiples. All of my experience has been as a teacher.

dayslikethis Fri 05-Feb-16 08:30:53

I'm not in SE England - in Scotland at the minute, although lived in the US before.

My twins are in P1 (reception) and have been separated. They were together the last 2 years in pre-k (like pre-school/nursery) but we were in a private school in the US and it was full days, uniform, much more structure and teaching than you would get here in pre-school settings.

We made the decision before they were born to keep them together until they started formal school and then to separate them. Due to a lot of moves which weren't planned, inc an unexpected move back to the UK last summer just before they started p1, we did think about whether we were wrong to separate them, as it was a lot of changes in one go, but on reflection we decided our original plan was for the best.

There are 3 sets of twins in our current p1 year - 2 sets of identical girls (of which my twins are one set) and a boy/girl set. The boy/girl set are together and both sets of identicals have been separated. The other set have probably found it easier than my girls have as although they are close, they aren't as close as my two. I think all the moves we have done over the last few years have really strengthened the bond between my two and they really are best of friends. They miss each other a lot in school and regularly say they wish they could be together, but they are actually fine in school and are good at making friends separately. I do wonder how different their experience would have been if we'd stayed in Scotland the whole of the last 6 years instead of moving abroad and forcing them into lots of big, big changes. Having said that - while their experience abroad has definitely made them closer - I has also made them (and my other two DC) really good at adapting to new situations, not getting stressed about things, taking things in their stride, and getting to know new people.

The hardest thing at the minute is when one gets a birthday invitation and the other doesn't. It's a new one for us and has happened twice to the same twin (just luck and timing really - the other twin is just as popular and happy at school) and it's been hard on the one left out, although we would never expect anyone to invite both just because they are twins and we have explained it to the girls repeatedly. I suspect those kinds of things wouldn't happen as much if they were in the same class.

They still choose to play together and eat lunch together almost every day at school, but I guess the main positive is that other people see them more as individuals and they are referred to a lot less as "the twins" now.

TweenageAngst Fri 05-Feb-16 08:38:14

My twins were separated (my choice) at reception. They are now at secondary school, still separated. However throughout school they have shared friends from each of their classes and seem to act as a bridge between lots of different groups. Even though they are identical their friends treat them as separate people and not the "Twins". The teachers on the other hand mix them up all the time, which of course they use to their advantage.

slebmum1 Fri 05-Feb-16 09:12:33

They cannot seperate as a blanket policy, all the schools I viewed said they would do what the parents wanted and TAMBA will help with this if the schools aren't supportive.

In the end we went for a one form entry school so didn't have to make the decision. The teacher try's to make sure they are in different work groups to get a bit of independence. If they had gone to a bigger a cool I would have kept them together as well, they are not ready to be apart from each other (late August babies who were also perm who should have been born in the next intake). Neither is dominant of the other, at the moment, and they seem to be establishing their own friends too.

A fried at a bigger school separated hers and for them it's been the best thing they could have done.

Totally dependent on the individual set of twins.

I'm in SE London.

slebmum1 Fri 05-Feb-16 09:15:06

Also their teacher has twins herself and she is very good at not referring to them as 'the twins' etc and guiding the kids that way too. Also they always have different hair and shoes as they are very identical. They do not like it if you get their names wrong which is fair enough!

dayslikethis Fri 05-Feb-16 09:28:13

Yes, we too have done everything we can to make them look as different as possible. They do have the same hairstyle, but they have hairband with their initials on them to help people tell them apart without having to ask. One wears a pinafore and one a skirt, they have different shoes/boots, different coats, differences bags, lunch boxes, water bottles etc...

Twin 2's teacher is very good with them - she seems to really get the bond between them and does little things like when she has to send a message to twin 1's teacher she almost always sends twin 2 to do it so that she can just see her sister even for 30seconds. She is also very aware when twin 1 is off school sick that twin 2 will be a little quieter as she will be missing her etc... Twin 1's teacher doesn't have the same grasp of their close bond and doesn't seem to really care or even think about the fact that in many ways her pupil often feels like her other half is missing.

There is a chance we will be moving again in the next year or two (possibly as early as this summer) and it has crossed my mind about whether I should put them together again if we move because of all the changes, and because they would genuinely love it, but I think we likely would keep them separate still, although it would be hard for sure.

NinaTneurons Fri 05-Feb-16 10:36:31

Hi slebmum1, did you separate your twins as they entered reception rather than later on? And, how old are your twins/what year are they in now?

Also, with your friend - did she separate her twins after reception class?
Thanks

slebmum1 Fri 05-Feb-16 10:56:24

Hi - we're all just in reception year, mine are in single form entry so together, friends are seperate.

NinaTneurons Fri 05-Feb-16 11:23:36

slebmum1 mine are in tiny CofE school that has 15 children to the year, so they had started out together. However, as the years have passed (they're are 9 now) I have wished to the point of considering different schools for them that they may be better off separate.

Did your friend ask for hers to be separated after reception class or did they enter reception class separately?

namechangedtoday15 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:33:17

I'm actually shocked that any school can have a blanket policy on "how twins should be treated". That's appalling. It depends entirely on the children.

I have twins and was asked what we wanted to do when we visited schools. We discussed the matter with the school we wanted and decided that unless there were reasons to separate, which there weren't, we would keep them together (2 form intake). They are now Yr 6 and have been in the same class throughout. No issues at all, in fact I think it has benefitted them. They've had each other's support, both emotional and practical, they've developed a sense of competitiveness, but its a shared experience they can discuss & we can all be part of. From a logistical point of view for us, its been much better (as a pp mentioned, both invited to most parties unless someone was just having boys etc, class trips / assemblies on the same day, needed their swimming kit of the same day etc).

They are boy/girl twins so will go to different high schools (single sex) in September. They're now ready (at 10/11) to be independent and separated.

I am also a twin. Single class intake at my primary school in the late 70s so I was with my sister throughout.

NinaTneurons Fri 05-Feb-16 12:58:35

Hi namechangedtoday15, it could be that mine are both boys and have become increasingly competitive with each other and though they have different talents and qualities - no matter how hard I try to make them feel brilliant in their own right they still envy one another.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 05-Feb-16 13:29:23

Nina, I think each set of twins is different. I just don't like the "one approach fits all" attitude. I agree there may be a different approach depending on whether its same sex or different sex twins, but again, you have to look at each case separately.

I am very competitive with my twin sister so I can understand your concern. Its not always a bad thing though but I agree it needs switched on teachers to be able to manage that in a school environment.

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