Each year in February, Bloomsbury Publishing celebrate Harry Potter Book Night and this year Cobham Hall decided to turn their 16th Century Manor House into their very own Hogwarts. The whole of Year 4 from nearby Cobham Primary, along with a number of girls from Steephill Prep School, were invited to take part in a day of spells and magic.
The children, who arrived bedecked in capes, lightning bolt scars on their foreheads and wizard hats, gasped as they entered Cobham Hall’s Gilt Hall to the sound of music from the films. They were greeted by ‘Professor’ Mangan, Cobham Hall’s Head of Muggle Relations (and who also teaches Voice, Drama and Communication). Professor Mangan oversaw the Sorting Ceremony, which split the group into their Hogwarts Houses.
Once sorted, the children had their first chance to show their wizarding potential by solving puzzles to break into a box containing the Philosopher’s Stone. They coped marvellously with the challenges, which included a visit to the ‘Restricted Section’ of the library. They were supported by their House Prefect – one of Cobham Hall’s Sixth Form pupils – and were rewarded with a treat when the box was finally opened. The children then split into two groups, with the first heading to their Potions Class, where they created a number of potions, using ingredients such as ground unicorn horn, dragon’s drool and powdered basilisk skin! The second group took part in Frog Choir, learning and performing “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.
After enjoying a roast beef lunch with Cobham Hall’s Year 7 and 8 girls, the children were rewarded with certificates and a goody bag of Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans and a Chocolate Frog. Mrs Joshua, Cobham Primary’s Year 4 class teacher who accompanied the children, said afterwards, “Thank you for a magical day, it really was special and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”