Education

Shepparton East welcomes two sets of twins

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Shepparton East Primary School will have not one but two twins named Marlee/Marley starting this year along with their siblings Elaina and Violet.

The twins’ mothers Shana Lancaster and Kym Henderson found they had a few things in common when enrolling their daughters for their first year of school, with the pair each having four children including a set of twin girls and both naming one Marlee/Marley.

Ms Lancaster decided to separate her twin daughters Marlee and Elaina for their first year at school.

‘‘They have been together since birth and I wanted them to excel in their own little way apart from each other. I think it will be good for them in the long run,’’ she said.

Taking a while to decide on ‘‘the perfect school’’, Ms Lancaster said she finally decided on Shepparton East because it was a smaller school.

‘‘You’ve got to trust other people to look after your children and I had to get their enrolment forms in the next day.

‘‘They were the last two enrolments the school was going to take, so we were very lucky, but we’re very happy with our decision,’’ she said.

For the Henderson family, the decision was easy — identical twins Marley and Violet would attend the same school as their older siblings.

Ms Henderson said her girls were easy to tell apart when they were born, but as they grew older their features began to show similarities.

‘‘They had their own placentas, their own sacs and everything, so they probably should have been fraternal, but one in three can still be identical and the only way to know is to do a cheek swab DNA test ...

‘‘On a twin page on Facebook they had a special on DNA kits and I thought ‘oh well, I’ll give it a go’ and it came back as 99.9999782percent, so yeah, they are identical,’’ Ms Henderson said.

Ms Henderson and Ms Lancaster agreed they were looking forward to having someone to help answer all the girls’ questions.

School principal Trent McCrae said Shepparton East Primary School had steadily grown during the past few years and now had 12 classrooms.

‘‘There are two Prep classrooms that are separated by a dividing door, which can (be) opened or closed depending on the activity that is taking place, allowing interaction across the two classes on a daily basis,’’ Mr McCrae said.

He said every year was exciting with new families arriving and existing families continuing.

‘‘This year we’ve been successful in being selected as a primary science specialist school, which means an increase in funding and resources within the school and training to build the complexity of our staff to offer science from Prep all the way through to Year 6,’’ Mr McCrae said.

Looking forward to the new year, Mr McCrae said the school community was fundraising for a new shelter to cover the basketball court.

‘‘That will be really big for our school community and future students,’’ he said.