Chichester school transforms bus that appeared in Harry Potter and Eastenders into 'exciting learning environment'
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After Birdham CE Primary School deputy head, Emily Ellis, had the ‘crazy idea’ to use a bus as a playtime space, staff sourced a vehicle with a ‘special history’.
Ms Ellis said: “It started off as a London bus but most excitingly, since it stopped transporting passengers, it has gained some celebrity status appearing on TV and the big screen!
"It featured in an episode of Eastenders in January 2017 as part of a major storyline when a bus lost control in the market, and also featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in a scene with the Knight bus.”
It was also previously refurbished and used as a mobile bar, and even featured in a children’s story about a lonely bus.
A huge community effort was involved in giving the bus a makeover: a local benefactor ‘saw the inspiration’ behind the idea and offered to fund the entire project, and a Brighton-based mural artist (@skatinchinchilla on Instagram) was tasked with customising it and incorporating the children’s drawings into the design.
The bus arrived at school just before the summer holidays, much to the delight of parents and children alike who were desperate to know if it would be a permanent fixture.
Ms Ellis added: “Now the bus is here [the children] have so many plans of how they can use it, not just for the children but the whole school community.
“They have already hosted their first tea and coffee morning on the bus and have lots of other plans brewing.”