THE NEW intake of pupils at a Basingstoke school had a spell-binding experience last week as a part of their induction day.

On Friday, July 5, the Costello School, in Crossborough Hill, transformed their school into the magical world of Harry Potter in order to make the new year six intake feel more welcome.

Teachers at Costello dressed the part as teachers from the popular book and film series, and showing off their subjects in a magical style.

The main hall was also decked out to look like the great hall from the books, complete with a top table for the teachers and floating candles.

The idea was the brainchild of Tracy Joy, the pastoral team leader for year 7 at the school, who implemented the idea with headteacher of the school, Randall Jull.

Mr Jull was dressed for the part, swapping his suit for the robes of his fictional counterpart Albus Dumbledore to address the new intake.

He said: "While this isn't my usual get-up it is a fun idea, and helps to make the new students feel more welcome by providing them with an environment they recognise.

"It can be a big move for them, and this will help them feel less anxious about making the jump to secondary school.

"I am very fortunate to have staff who are willing to take part and get involved.

"It can be easy to lose that element of enjoyment and we want to make them look forward to starting here."

The pupils started the day by being given their tickets to get on the train to school, before being welcomed by some of the school's prefects.

They were then given an 'invisibility cloak' before being sorted into their houses at the school.

They were then taken around to be given taster classes by their new teachers, including a potions-themed science demonstration and a spell-themed maths class example.

One of the students, Rebecca Bates, said: "It was really fun learning to make potions and write spells.

"It makes me feel like I'm going to have a good time next year."