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Harry Potter world record English lesson for pupils at Oaklands School

PUBLISHED: 14:10 25 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:47 28 June 2016

Pupils watch JK Rowling link in Harry Potter world record reading bid at Oaklands School

Pupils watch JK Rowling link in Harry Potter world record reading bid at Oaklands School

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Harry Potter took centre stage at school in London's East End yesterday as 120 pupils took part in a world record English lesson attempt.

Pupils at Oaklands School enthrawled at Harry Potter story readingPupils at Oaklands School enthrawled at Harry Potter story reading

The Year 7s at Bethnal Green’s Oaklands Secondary were joined in a link with 75 schools across the UK in the record attempt for the biggest co-ordinated half-hour reading session, which began sharp at 9am, as part of National Book Day.

The youngsters sat enthralled watching a video link recording of author JK Rowling read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows due out later this year.

Their English teacher Thahmina Haseen then read the second chapter live, before the pupils discussed what they had heard.

“They forget there’s an enjoyment to reading,” she explained later. “Reading isn’t done enough because there’s such a hurry to get things done in lessons.”

Oaklands teacher Thahmina Haseen reading from 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'  after JK Rowlings' readfingOaklands teacher Thahmina Haseen reading from 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' after JK Rowlings' readfing

Harry Potter isn’t taught in the curriculum, but the school felt it was “engaging in capturing a child’s imagination” to encourage them into reading.

Head teacher Patrice Canavan told the East London Advertiser: “It’s important to have kids reading and knowing others are reading in a world of social media where they use gadgets and mobile phones.

“We’re getting them back to books and reading as a pleasure, rather than a chore.

Harry Potter is not the classics, but the school felt as long as the youngsters were reading they would go on to other literature.

Record-breaking Harry Potter record breaking attempt at Oaklands SchoolRecord-breaking Harry Potter record breaking attempt at Oaklands School

The school’s Learning Hub manager Sarah Lawless arranged the hook-up for the world record attempt with links on screen, downloading the script of the yet-to-be-published book for the lesson that ran simultaneously with the other schools around the country.

“We won’t know the results for two weeks,” Sarah said. “But we feel we’ve smashed last year’s record.”

All that—despite many of the East End youngsters taking part were also fasting for Ramadan.

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