More than 800 secondary school students in Hemel picked up their copies of Harry Potter in a bid to break a world record.
Pupils at Longdean School gathered in the sports hall last Friday to take part in the Guinness World Records’ ‘World’s Largest Reading Lesson’.
The youngsters read along to a recording of JK Rowling – author of the best-selling series about a young magician – who was reading an extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Longdean are now world record holders, along with 74 other schools, and have smashed the previous 2014 record of 3,509 people across eight venues.
After starting the day with a story, the youngsters set off on their annual eight-mile charity walk dressed in all manner of colourful outfits depicting cartoon characters, hippies and Euro 2016 players.
Though final calculations are being made, it is thought the walk has raised between £5,000 and £6,000 for four local charities chosen by Longdean students.
They include suicide prevention charity Hector’s House, Woodfield School, SANDS Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society and the local branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Galia Segal, deputy headteacher at the school, in Rumballs Road, said: “Our annual fancy dress charity walk was once again a great success, raising lots of money for four very deserving local charities.
“It was made more unique this year by our Guinness World Record attempt – a celebration of reading.
“Well done and thank you to all the pupils, staff, parents and governors who supported these special events.”