Sydenham-Hillside Primary School celebrated multiple milestones when six sets of twins, including three identical, started at the school last week.

Sydenham campus principal Glenn McGarigle described the twins’ first day as “a very special event” and a new record for the school. “This is by far the biggest set of twins starting in prep in the 20 years I’ve been at the school,” he said.

Jenny Dionisio, whose twin boys, Liam and Lance, are among the record cohort of twins, said she was caught by surprise when she was told how many twins were in her boys’ class.

Joining Liam and Lance in prep this year are Ebony and Shelby, Ethan and Lucas, Dayem and Dayyan, Demi and Pete and Yudhivr and Karamvir.

A federal government report titled Australia’s Mothers and Babies 2001 says multiple births, especially twin births, have been rising in Australia. The head of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s national perinatal statistics unit, Dr Elizabeth Sullivan, says the rise in twin births can be attributed to women delaying childbearing or being older mothers, and the use of fertility drugs and assisted reproductive technology.