By Claire Ottaviano
HELENA College teachers and students can be forgiven for seeing double on Monday as six sets of twins start in one year group.
Five of the six sibling sets are existing students transitioning from middle school in Year 6 to upper school in Year 7 at the College’s Glen Forrest campus, with one family starting this year.
Although not all are identical, many of the twins share physical similarities as well as common interests, and of course, the same birthday.
Identical twin brothers Alex and Will McDonald said the best thing about being a twin was being able to play tricks on people, with their teachers and fellow classmates often the victims.
“In pre-primary school once we switched classes for a whole day,” Alex said.
“It was really good and no one found out.”
Will admitted to being the twin who got in trouble the most, with Alex often being the one to take the blame and, on several occasions, the consequence of lunchtime rubbish duty.
Non-identical twins Daan and Jens Van Assema said having a sibling of the same age had its advantages and disadvantages.
“The best part about being a twin is always having someone to play games with,” they said.
“You’re never alone and we basically have the same interests.
“The worst thing though is always being compared with your twin and we can be quite competitive, especially in sport.”
College Principal Peter Coombs said it would be an exciting start to the new school year.
“Having so many sets of twins in a year level is a quirky uniqueness for the school and no doubt it makes for an interesting dynamic among the group,” he said.
“However, we recognise while there are several brothers and sisters in the year level, each student is unique and we teach in a way that is best for them as individual learners.”
While students across the State return next week, teachers and administration staff have been busily preparing for a jam-packed year after so many event cancellations during 2020’s COVID-19 restrictions.
“Last year was a challenging year for everyone and I have been very pleased with the way our College community responded,” he said.
“Hopefully, as we move into 2021 and things begin to return to normal, we can resume some of the key events we sadly missed last year including inviting parents and guests to student concerts and performances.
“2021 signals the first year of implementing our 2021-23 Strategic Plan and I particularly look forward to the many conversations ahead as we review the way we do things and look for ways to make Helena College an even more special place to be.”
Down the hill, Swan View High School is also expecting an exciting year ahead with planning now underway to design a new Aboriginal Education Centre on the site.
Premier Mark McGowan made the funding announcement last week in time for the back to school rush.
Architect firm Mode, has been chosen to design a modern learning environment for students.
The new centre will be built between June 2021 and March 2022.