Art and Maths: First Years Demystify Harry Potter World
Sadly, rather than standing on platform 13 ¾ awaiting the Hogwarts Express, Bede’s First Years had to make do with a comfortable coach journey to Harry Potter World at the Warner Bros Studios, an outing that has become an annual tradition for the Maths and Art departments.
Why should two departments with seemingly little in common, combine for this expedition to the home of Harry Potter film sets? Were nefarious forces at work? The actions of ‘he who should not be named?’
Had the Chamber of Secrets been unlocked?
The Harry Potter Studios are a perfect example where design and creativity problem solving are brought to life. Each meticulous part of these stunning movies began life as a scribbled sketch, every one of them brought to life with architectural drawings and engineering models before final construction.
From the smallest prop to entire scale models of Hogwarts, it was this combination of design and execution that brought J.K. Rowling’s fictional world to life - and stripping away the ‘magic’ was our main purpose in making the trip.
Take a moment to consider any engineering or architectural project you have come across. Perhaps the brand new Brighton i360 comes to mind. Then consider how much design and engineering skill would have been involved in its creation.
With many pupils on the trip considering themselves to be budding young designers, engineers and architects, the trip provided a perfect start to their life at Bede’s.
Provided with a wealth of written and visual material by the team at Harry Potter Studios, from prosthetics to constumes to model work to sound and visual design, the children were able to see how all the steps and skills of the various craftspeople who worked on the franchise came together.
But the day didn’t end after the tour. The First Years have all subsequently been putting their newly-acquired skills and knowledge to use in the creation of their own scale drawings of a Marauder’s Map.
With competition heating up over who will win a coveted Hogwarts House Mug, there’ll be plenty of chances for our future designers to show their stuff.
Moreover, it is my hope - having spent so much of my life working in theatre alongside studying and teaching Maths - that the children have all come away with a clear understanding that there are no magic wands when it comes to design work...