Harry Potter bus bought by West Sussex school and made into space to read and play in Chichester

  • ITV News Meridian's Siri Hampapur spoke to the pupils about how much they love the bus

A bus that appeared in a Harry Potter film has been sold to a school and converted into a space for pupils to read and play games.

The former red double-decker made a few stops along its route - including starring alongside the Knight Bus in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban - before ending up at Birdham School in Chichester, West Sussex.

It arrived here during the last week of the summer holidays and students have been able to use it since the start of the Academic year.

The idea came from the deputy headteacher, Emily Ellis, who wanted to create an outdoor reading area.

Ms Ellis said: "The children love reading, it's one of the things we're really passionate about here in Birdham.

"First of all, I thought maybe we could get an old telephone box that we could use as a library for the children and parents to use.

"Then that idea transformed into why don't we see if we can get hold of a bus?

"The children were just amazed when they saw it. Every lesson they say 'oh can we do it on the bus?'"

Since arriving at the school, it has had a makeover with a local artist including designs by the children which represent the school, such as its logo, motto and apple orchard.

The design also included school's therapy rabbit and its motto - 'love learning, love our world, love each other' Credit: ITV News Meridian

The bus started off as a red double-decker in London and then went on to be in an episode of Eastenders.

After it was in the third Harry Potter film, it became a mobile bar - and now it has made its final stop at the school - much to the delight of the children.

One of the pupils said: "It's special to us because it's somewhere we can come to relax and read books."

Someone else told ITV Meridian: "Everyone loves it in this school and it's just a good place for reading."

A glowing review was given by another student who said: "It's the best thing I've ever ridden - even better than a rollercoaster!"

The bus has quickly become the children's favourite place at the school and it is not going anywhere.

A local benefactor gave the school funding to run the project.

The deputy headteacher said the school has plans for its future including hosting breakfast mornings for parents, prayer sessions and opening it up to the wider community.

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