Identical siblings give Preston teacher double vision

THREE TIMES TWO IS SIX: Teacher Natasha Sandland with twins Ike and Yomi, Kiera and Natalie and Summer and Shelby
THREE TIMES TWO IS SIX: Teacher Natasha Sandland with twins Ike and Yomi, Kiera and Natalie and Summer and Shelby
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Telling identical twins apart is a challenge for any busy class teacher.

And Year Two teacher Natasha Sandland has do a double-take THREE times when she does the register with her class at Preston’s Eldon Primary School – because she has three sets of identical twins on the roll.

Things were tough enough when six-year-olds Summer and Shelby Kirkby moved up to her class in September but at least she had seen them around, as they had been at school since nursery.

More double vision arrived with Kiera and Natalie Nuttall, seven, but the real head-scratching started when identical twin brothers Ike and Yomi Opeisa, also seven, recently arrived from Nigeria.

The girls’ parents try to make life easier for the teacher by doing their hair differently – but even that has its drawbacks because all four girls look similar and have blonde hair, with one of each pair having a slighter darker shade than the other, adding to the confusion.

Mrs Sandland, who is also assistant headteacher, said: “I have been teaching for over 10 years and only ever taught one set of identical twins.

“To have three sets of identical twins in one class must be unique and I doubt it will ever happen to me again.

“It has taken a long time to be able to tell them apart but even now I can still get confused.

“I was relieved when Kiera’s front tooth fell out as it meant I would have no problem identifying her but the very next day Natalie lost the same tooth!”

Deputy headteacher James Moss added: “Three sets of identical twins in a school, never mind one class, is a record for us and I have certainly never come across it before.

“The parents try to help by doing things like putting different coloured ribbons in the girls’ hair and letting the teacher know which is which in the morning but it is a bit more difficult with the boys.

“We are a one-form entry so we can’t even split them up into different classes.

Mrs Sandland added: “Although the children look the same, they each have their own unique personality and it is a pleasure to teach them.”