Young witches and wizards enjoyed a magical day when their school was transformed into Hogwarts for a spellbinding celebration of 20 years of Harry Potter.

After being greeted by Professor McGonnagal – headmistress Laura Turner – children at Barnard Castle Preparatory School were sent through Platform 93/4 and on into a host of activities.

Rhys James as Harry, Benjamin French as Ron Weasley, Tabitha Hilsden as Hermione and Isabelle Kerr started the day with a scene from The Philosopher’s Stone, first published 20 years ago, then it was off to classrooms for wand-making and writing spell poems.

Maths tasks involved Bertie Bott’s bean counting while those in music studied Hedwig’s theme.

Older pupils headed to the science laboratory to make potions while the art room was taken over with owl mask-making and quill writing.

The Prep School’s AstroTurf was the ideal venue for quidditch and broomstick flying.

All the staff and pupils swapped normal school uniform for a host of witch and wizard outfits as well as characters including Dobbie the house elf, the golden snitch, Hagrid and the Dementors.

But it was at lunchtime when the day moved to another level with the Victorian oak panelled dining hall of Barnard Castle School transformed into Hogwarts' Great Hall with real fires lit and long tables laid out for a feast for the houses of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.

At the end of the day everyone came together again to share their most magical moments.

Mrs Turner said: “Our Harry Potter and a Spell of All Things Magical Day was one of the most special we’ve had at Prep School and an experience we will all remember for a very long time. The children looked amazing in their costumes. They absolutely loved it and really appreciated all the effort that the staff had put into transforming the school and creating exciting themed lessons.

“We’re all about community and making learning fun. Many parents say the Prep School is already a magical place but this was truly out of this world.”