Teachers are facing double trouble this term – after two city schools welcomed an influx of twins.
Eight pairs have joined primary one classes at Carrick Knowe and James Gillespie’s primaries, leaving teachers scratching their heads to keep track.
But the twins – four sets in each school – are taking it all in their stride, throwing themselves into school life and making new friends.
Of the eight sets, six are made up of a brother and a sister, while there is one pair of girls and one of boys.
The twin phenomenon has been partly put down to a high birth rate in Scotland, one that has been steadily growing over the past decade.
Among the new pupils at Carrick Knowe, in the Corstorphine area, are five-year-olds Cameron and Megan Wilson, who are like “chalk and cheese”, according to mum Claire.
She said: “He’s a typical boy and she’s a typical girl. She’s into ballet, he’s boisterous.
“It’s nice that they go through it together, but they are in separate classes so they can make their own wee friends.
“I think all sets of twins had the exact same buggies. And we all live within five or ten minutes of each other.”
Cameron and Megan – who were born three months premature and spent their first five weeks in hospital – are aware that there are other twins in their year, but Mrs Wilson said they were “quite easy-going” about it.
Carrick Knowe Primary has three P1 classes and one P1-2 composite class. Teacher Bex Carter said it was the first time she had seen so many twins in one year.
She said: “There’s nothing massively different in terms of how we run it, it’s just quite nice to have them there. I’m not sure how many of the other children have twigged yet. It might be later on when there are birthdays on the same day.”
Meanwhile, James Gillespie’s Primary in Marchmont, which only has a handful of twins in the upper years, is seeing a similar trend.
Jodie Fox, whose four-year-old children Harry and Betty-Lou started school last week, said: “I think there’s a big boom. There seems to be lots of twins about. I think it was a bumper year for births in 2009 so their intake is bigger. My granny’s brother and sister were twins, but there’s not too much family history [of twins].
“I wasn’t too surprised when I heard about it – I know a lot of people who have twins. The children were at Stockbridge Primary nursery and down in Stockbridge it seems like everybody has a double buggy.
“I think more people are having twins when they are having children later in life, and with people having IVF as well, although mine were natural.”
James Gillespie primary one teacher Alison Carson, who has two twins from different sets in her class, said the open-plan format of the school made the children inquisitive. Gillespie’s has three P1 classes, including a two-teacher class with 35-40 pupils.
She said: “They are quite interested in having a wee peek over to where their sibling is, but all of our twins seem to have settled in really nicely.”