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Would you split up Twins to send them to their perfect schools

(38 Posts)
LolaRedford3030 Wed 11-Nov-15 23:58:07

I have two identical twin boys, they're 9 years old and we've spent almost a year visiting various Public Schools in the hope that we would find one that would be perfect for them both.

As you've most likely guessed that has not been the case. DS1 (older by 17 mins) is out going, cocky, sporty, a big fan of art and only does really well academically because he's competitive not because he loves to learn etc DS2 is more reserved, very bright, also competitive, not big on sports but gets dragged into it a lot, quite opinionated but not blunt or brash, very aware of other people, slightly sneaky.

After getting a short list from the HM and coming up with a list of our own, we went to see all the schools and then went back some more.

DS1 and I adored St Edwards, the pastoral care seemed utterly brilliant, they're big on sports and we spoke to numerous students studying Art at A Level and they adored the school. I love that it's Co-Ed and that the kids can go into town, day students don't outnumber boarders and they can't leave till 9pm so DS1 won't be all alone.

DS2 hated it, it just wasn't for him, so after a few more schools, we went to WinCol, DS2 loved it and it was recommended by the HM for just him, not DS1. I personally would have run a mile away, it was an intellectual hot house, sports was optional after a while and no laptops for at least the first year, everything was geared to academia, not that there's anything wrong with that but I would have preferred a more relaxed environment, but I must admit, DS2 would perfectly fit in, DS1 lasted five minutes before asking if he could wait in the car on our tour.

I don't want to split them up, so our last option is to try and get them both into Westminister as Day students. They're bright enough to get in, Westminster has lots of sports to offer DS1 although he'll be under pressure academically, DS2 doesn't love the school but won't mind going there, if they can stay together.

I don't want to split them up but I don't want either of them to settle for a school when they've already found ones that seem to suit them perfectly.

They don't want to split up but they're only nine and it's clear they both really liked St Edwards and WinCol.

So ultimately would you split up your twins at thirteen years old.

MyNewBearTotoro Thu 12-Nov-15 00:05:53

I don't have twins so maybe I am lacking some understanding in terms of the bond they share but I think if it meant each could go to their ideal school then yes, I would.

Presumably you would have no problem with non-twin siblings going to different schools? And this would allow them to gain independence and a sense of self outside of being a twin. If they are very different this may be particularly important especially if there is a danger of one twin following the other because it is safer/ easier etc rather than because it suits him.

It may be a positive thing for them to start their new schools as individuals and not as one of 'the Twins' and to be able to pursue their own interests and build in their own strengths.

That said I would let them have some say regarding the decision. If they are only 9 and won't start the schools until 13 do they need to decide yet or can it wait a few years? (Sorry I have no idea what waiting lists for private schooling are like!)

VimFuego101 Thu 12-Nov-15 00:10:11

My brother and sister are twins and are total polar opposites, they went to different schools and did great. I wouldn't have any hesitation in doing this - the only thing that would concern me is the logistics of getting them both to different schools (two drop offs, potentially slightly different holiday dates, etc).

LolaRedford3030 Thu 12-Nov-15 00:27:47

@mynewbeartotoro No need to decide just yet, they just have to be registered by 10 for most schools. So they have a few years before any firm decisions have to be made. I'm really glad you replied, I thought I was going to be called horrid for even dreaming of splitting them up. They're very different and going to seperate schools might be very good for them both, I wouldn't hesitate it they weren't twins but they do have a strong bond, they're a close knit team, both equally boss each other around, so I'll definetly consider what they want to do at that stage.

@VimFuego101 Glad to hear your siblings didn't have any issues from going to different schools, I'm slightly convinced I'll ruin them by splitting them up, so it's nice to know others have done it before and everything turned out fine. My parents live out in Oxford, close to St Edwards, so if pick ups and drop offs clash it won't be too bad, seperate holidays are an issue , I'll have to ring up the schools and ask for info as I'm hoping they'll get to at least spend the holidays together.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 12-Nov-15 00:34:41

Why wouldn't you send them to different schools?

I don't have twins but I have girls who are one year apart and very close. They went to grade 8 (age 13) in the same school which happened to suit them both (I would have found another school if it didn't suit one of them)and then we sent them to different high schools. they needed different things and it is nice for them to have separate lives in school and then reconnect at home.

LolaRedford3030 Thu 12-Nov-15 01:11:52

@canyouforgiveher It's not just sending them to different schools but different cities. The schools are full boarding meaning they can't come home unless it's the holidays and if the half term holidays aren't at the same time then they'll only see each other at Christmas and the summer holidays which isn't a lot of time, they'll essentially be leading two very separate lives, hundreds of miles away from each other

AndNowItsSeven Thu 12-Nov-15 01:19:23

Why send them to boarding school at all?

Gruach Thu 12-Nov-15 07:06:55

Youre being a teeny bit over dramatic with the hundreds of miles away grin. It only a little over an hour by train between one and the other.

Seriously it's hard enough to find the exact right school for one child, to have two perfectly matched should be counted a success. And I'm no twin psychologist but it would surely be good for them to continue to develop separate personalities without being constantly compared. Even non-twin siblings benefit from that.

Won't your Winchester child have a pre-test in year 6? That's a decision of sorts ... And the point when you'll know if you have to look elsewhere again.

If they both get in to their chosen places they'll have at least four months away from school plus half terms- which probably will roughly match. And weekend leaves. And they'll probably FaceTime each other as often as is allowed. And perhaps meet at matches, chess, choir, whatever.

Is their current school equally successful/ experienced in getting children into both schools?

Temporaryusername8 Thu 12-Nov-15 07:07:15

Lola firstly lots of sport at Winchester. The fact that the amount of sport done is optional for a boy does n't mean that there are n't some very sporty boys (like international rowers). Westminster and Winchester are quite similar schools in ethos (except of course for full boarding and co-ed sixth form) so I am surprised that you are considering it for DS1 if he disliked Wimchester and loved St Edwards.
Secondly if you live in London with access to many day schools (especially for boys as bright as yours) then you could send them to two different day schools which would suit their respective characters.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 12-Nov-15 07:12:19

You're being a teeny bit over dramatic with the hundreds of miles away

Lol, yes, I was going to say it's only about 60 miles straight up or down the A34!

I'd have no problems splitting them up - my kids are/were at three different schools - but yes, why not two different London day schools if you're worried about them spending too much time apart?

Gruach Thu 12-Nov-15 07:17:37

I was thinking of the boys meeting up independently rather than being driven by parents. grin

(But thank you for retrieving my escaped apostrophe ...)

Temporaryusername8 Thu 12-Nov-15 07:28:03

I am wondering that this a bit of a spoof or that for some Londoners Oxford is hundreds of miles away. OP I'm really sorry but your descriptions of the schools seems to be a parody of MN posts on these two schools. St Edwards would be an unusual choice for a boy who might otherwise be considering Westminster.
BTW If I had identical twins I would have no hesitation in sending them to different schools but would hesitate for different full boarding schools.

MsMargaretHale Thu 12-Nov-15 07:28:58

It's a complete logistics nightmare having children at different boarding schools. I would go for the Westminster option!

AnotherNewt Thu 12-Nov-15 07:36:13

Worth sticking in a registration for both at both schools boarding schools you've identified as possibles so far, and London day schools as you identify possibles.

Day schools (or flexi-boarding?) would still give your twins plenty of time together in term time. And in London, there is scope for every sort of child to clubs and pursue interests of every kind.

Being bright enough to get in to Westminster isn't a synonym for actually getting an offer. So I suggest you go and look at St Pauls and KCS as well, and if you have one very sporty one, look at Dulwich too (I think you might be pleasantly surprised at how academic its top sets ate).

Lweji Thu 12-Nov-15 07:37:00

Apart from choice of schools and the issue of boarding (why??????), I suspect that by being in different schools the two twins will actually become more similar to each other, as they won't have to compete against each other and thus take uP some what different roles.
It could be good for them, but in this I'd follow their lead now and let them decide (or at least have a strong input) at 13. Things can change a lot in 3 years.

EvilTwins Thu 12-Nov-15 07:43:45

I have identical 9 year old twins and I wouldn't split them, no. We're not looking at private schools but are in a grammar area and they're working towards doing the 11+. We have one co ed super-selective and two single sex, otherwise it's our local (very good) comp. Neither of them want to go to the single sex grammars and so it's super-selective or comp. If only one gets in to the grammar, they'll both be going to the comp. In your position, OP, I would look at your plan B option.

SheGotAllDaMoves Thu 12-Nov-15 07:58:25

I spilt up my fraternal twins from 11-16.

The education they each received was right for them, at that time. They each thrived. But it was hard logistically! No point denying it. And guess who bore the brunt?

I would have continued past 16 (and watched the mileage clock up) but must admit I was very pleased when one decided to move to the other's school.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 12-Nov-15 08:01:31

My twins have just started Y7 in different schools. It's been a positive thing for both of them.

SoupDragon Thu 12-Nov-15 08:03:23

Aren't there often "complaints" from parents that their twins aren't treated as individuals?

Why wouldn't you split them if there are such big differences in what they would love in a school?

Brioche201 Thu 12-Nov-15 08:49:46

My DS has triplet boys on his course at uni (not sure if identical).They all where the same jacket.Now that is sad

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Thu 12-Nov-15 08:52:58

If you remove the "twin" element from your thinking, and the logistics are doable, then I would, definitely.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 12-Nov-15 10:28:55

My personal view is that I would split them up if they were going to day schools / weekly boarding but I would be more reluctant for full boarding. I think DC benefit from having a more shared experience and spending weeks away from each other wouldn't give you that.

It very much depends on the DC and I know of families where the two children going to different boarding schools has worked well but I don't think it would work for our family.

I would certainly look at the London day schools, they could go to two different ones without the logistics becoming impossible.

catslife Thu 12-Nov-15 11:29:10

Agree with chaz would consider splitting up twins for a day school but not for boarding.
It would also work out more expensive OP as many schools offer sibling discounts that would also apply to twins.
If the school is a large on they may be able to put them in different classes or houses so that they can develop their own individual identities and interest,s but still see each other socially outside formal activities.

BoboChic Thu 12-Nov-15 11:34:19

I know a family that were adamant not to split (fraternal) boy twins up and made a massive compromise that ended up with one boy failing his school leaving exams)

Enb76 Thu 12-Nov-15 11:44:20

I would split them for day or for boarding. I see no advantage in having children at a school that you pay for that isn't right for them.

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