Anyone who drove past Howell’s School in Llandaff last Wednesday (8th November) might have been surprised to see smoke billowing out of the front door, and ghoulish howls issuing from the upstairs windows!
Howell's was transformed into Hogwarts for the day, as the pupils at the school were joined by 150 children from local primary schools for Howell's Harry Potter-themed day.
Funded by HSBC, Hogwarts at Howell's is a new initiative that brought the Harry Potter series of books to life for children from Lansdowne, Herbert Thompson, St Paul’s, St Monica’s and Whitchurch primary schools.
From the moment the children stepped through the heavy wooden doors at the entrance to Howell's, staff in flowing gowns welcomed them, guiding them along corridors where candles flickered and the pictures on the walls moved as they passed by.
Once everyone had arrived, the girls and boys assembled under the vaulted ceiling of the Great Hall and were sorted in houses by the Sorting Hat.
All the young witches and wizards took part in taster lessons in Puzzling Potions (Science), Spells and Sorcery (English), Wand Making (Art), Magnetic Music (Music), Mystical Moves (Dance), Conjuring Computers (ICT) and Marauders' Maps (Geography).
Coming back together in the middle of the day, the children enjoyed a Hogwarts-style banquet in the Great Hall, enjoying a feast of sandwiches, cakes and ghoulish green jelly.
Mixing with witches and wizards from different schools, the girls and boys learned to make their voices heard outside of the usual classroom environment, felt their confidence grow through the day as they experienced learning in a different way and developed their team-working skills.
Working both in small groups and independently, they developed their magical skills, widened their horizons and made new friends.
Catherine Cooper, Acting Deputy, Assistant Head Teacher, Lansdowne Primary commented:
"It was a wonderful opportunity for our pupils to be able to experience the grandeur and elegance of the historic interior of Howell’s and the ambitious learning opportunities that Hogwarts at Howell’s provided. The staff conducted a range of highly stimulating workshops with our children that fired their imaginations and sparked a real desire to learn new skills."
"At the end of the day, pupils came back to school with a real broadening of their horizons and a desire to seize the opportunities made available to them. Many thanks to the staff at Howell’s for sharing this with us at Lansdowne in such a warm and inclusive way.”