The Walhampton News

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Walhampton is a busy pre-prep and prep school within Hampshire. Our news archive features all of our current and old news, announcements and celebrations dating back to 2013.

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Outdoor Learning . 07 Sep 2020 Read More -
Nurtured by Nature. 21 Jan 2020 Read More -
Lest we forget . 22 Oct 2013 Read More -
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Prep School Day Out to Harry Potter World

Private Boarding School

Year 6 had the opportunity to experience the dream when they visited the Leavesden Studios for the Harry Potter Tour, losing themselves in a magical world by interacting with characters, costumes and props. 

Our Walhampton muggles’ adventure began with the parting of the magnificent oak doors to reveal the majesty of the Great Hall, complete with fully laden dining tables and festooned with characters’ costumes from earlier films. The tour then explored the vast closed set, which housed impeccably staged rooms from the films, such as the Griffindor common room and Hagrid’s home.

The painstaking detail, expense and dedication used to create the mise-en-scene was awe-inspiring. Each label on the thousands of potions bottles was handcrafted, every oil painting was an original composition and each feather on the glorious animatronic Buckbeak was attached by hand. Even if a visitor harboured a cynical attitude towards all things Potter, they could not fail to be impressed by the enormity of the project, the artistry involved in every elements of the film-making process and the huge impact the stories have had on audiences worldwide. There were no shortcuts taken here, even when a prop’s appearance on screen was only momentary.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"

- J K Rowling.


The next part of the tour became more interactive as Year 6 could take on a Quidditch match astride a broomstick, ride inside a Ford Anglia (never before been regarded as a treat), sit in the carriages of the breathtaking Hogwart’s Express and tread the boards along the famous wooden bridge. The most popular activity, rather worryingly, was being taught how to use a wand to cast defensive spells [NB It is strictly against Walhampton rules for children to use spells unsupervised and around non-magic folk]. They then meandered along Diagon Alley before rounding the corner to be struck by the ethereal model of Hogwarts, used to film aerial shots of the school.  

The English lesson at the studios taught the pupils how to persuasively pitch a film concept to producers that would spark their imaginations and convince them to part with millions of pounds. This lesson was rooted in the context of the whole film-making process as Year 6 were told about production costs, timescales and planning. They even got to handle Hagrid’s XXXXXL trousers and see why a prosthetic hairy chest could cost them the best part of £5,000 and take four hours to put on.

To describe the trip in any more detail could lessen its magic and mystery so, to sum up a spectacular day: 10 points to Griffindor, 10 points to Walhampton pupils and 10 points to Warner Bros. And to J K Rowling who inspired generations to love reading.