What a way to start school! New pupils have their first ever assembly in Hogwarts’ Great Hall

Students from Watford school started their new year on set of Harry Potter films.
270 Year 7 pupils gathered in the Great Hall at Warner Bros Studio Tour London for their assembly

The Great Hall of Hogwarts bore witness to countless sorting ceremonies, reunions of friends and total destruction during the momentous final battle against evil, but today it finally saw its first real-life school assembly.

Hundreds of 11-year-olds followed in the footsteps of Harry, Hermione and Ron as they took their seats at the banquet tables of the Great Hall-set at the studios where the films were shot.

The Year 7 students started their school year at the authentic set of the Harry Potter film series at the Warner Bros Studio Tour in the former Leavesden Studios in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Students from Queens’ School in Watford took their seats in the Great Hall just like Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint did on the big screen.

As the children gathered at the tables and on the floor, Deputy Head Teacher Kerry Clarke, took Albus Dumbledore’s place at the head of the teachers’ table to address the 270 pupils.

Mrs Clarke said: ‘We were over the moon when Warner Bros Studio Tour London invited us to celebrate the start of the new school year with an assembly in Hogwarts’ Great Hall.

‘It’s been a fantastic way to begin the term.

‘As well as giving us an incredible and very memorable experience, the Studio Tour provided our students with an exciting insight into the art of filmmaking.’

‘It was fascinating to learn about what goes on behind-the-scenes and the huge amount of work involved in producing the films,’ Mrs Clarke said, adding that it gave her students an unforgettable start of their first week at her school.

Pupil Natasha Patel, 11, said: ‘It was mind-blowing having our first assembly of the new year in the Hogwarts’ Great Hall.

‘This is the best way ever to go back to school! I literally didn’t want it to end.

‘It was incredible to be in the same hall where the actors, producers and cameramen stood during the making of the film.

‘It’s made me want to work in film when I leave school.’

The Studio Tour which opened last year is a Mecca for Potterheads, where they are able to in intricate detail follow the process of how the team behind the films brought their literary heroes to life on screen.

And with a couple of (non-alcoholic) Butterbeers in them, it is not unusual to see hard-core fans tear up at the sight of the full-scale set of Hogwarts, which finishes the crescendo of prop exhibitions and behind-the-scenes experiences.

Highlights include visiting Dumbledore’s office, strolling down Diagon Alley and a chance to jump on the Knight Bus.

Warner Bros Studio Tour London are launching a special Back to School experience with set design and storyboarding workshops for students.

Sarah Roots, of Warner Bros Studio Tour London, said: ‘As all the films start with the return to Hogwarts, we thought hosting a Back to School feature at the Studio Tour was a great way to mark the end of summer and the beginning of the new term.’

The Studio Tour’s Back to School feature runs from today to Thursday, September 26. Tickets must be pre-booked.

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