A BIT of Hogwarts magic rubbed off on 40 students just days ahead of their science GCSE exams.
The youngsters from Neville Lovett School in Fareham – who needed an extra push to achieve grades their teachers felt they were capable of – were treated to a day trip to Trinity College, Oxford University.
Pupils were inspired to learn after being taken on a tour of the college – which some likened to the Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter series of films.
They also revised in wood-panelled tutorial rooms and enjoyed a three-course meal in a grand dining hall.
Eden Wye, 16, said: ‘It was amazing.
‘The college looked like Hogwarts and I was expecting to see people walking around with capes and wands, playing Quidditch!
‘But the closest we came to that was the students wearing gowns to dinner, which was pretty cool.
‘Visiting Oxford has definitely made me more eager to push myself in science. I’m getting Cs at the moment but I hope I’ll do better in my exams.’
Jennifer Drewell, 15, hopes to average a B or better in science. She said: ‘Sometimes you need something different to make you go the extra mile and this has definitely done that.
‘Revising in the beautiful campus at Trinity College helped me retain a lot more information than usual, it was inspirational.
‘Everything was so posh and grand, especially the dinner, but now I’ve seen it I really want to go there.’
Lucy Meeze, 15, added: ‘I’m getting Cs in science but I’d like to do better.
‘Throughout the trip I was thinking to myself if I put in the hard work now I could be here one day. ‘
The students, who are this week taking exams, were accompanied on the day by four teachers including new assistant head of science Raj Patel.
He said: ‘The students were so impressed with the grandeur of it all – the experience was a real eye-opener for them and it was a terrific success.
‘There were some great moments, not least when one of our students sat at the high table for lunch in the president’s chair – before him, only presidents of the college had sat there for 450 years!’
Mr Patel added: ‘Some of them came back still thinking they were not clever enough to get in, but others are now looking to Oxbridge as somewhere they might apply to.
‘I was previously at a state school in a more affluent area which sent about three students a year to Oxbridge.
‘The students here at Neville Lovett are easily just as bright and capable, and slowly but surely I hope we make them realise that.’