The Hogwarts of Horsham? Unique ‘Harry Potter’ school sees upsurge in applications

Christ's Hospital School in Horsham has been likened to Hogwarts from Harry Potter SUS-190503-142921001
Christ's Hospital School in Horsham has been likened to Hogwarts from Harry Potter SUS-190503-142921001

An independent school likened to Hogwarts of Harry Potter fame has seen an upsurge in applications for places following work by a marketing and branding agency.

Christ’s Hospital School, founded in London by King Edward VI in 1552 and located in Horsham since 1902, received the boost from a radically redesigned prospectus and new advertising ideas.

Fireworx marketing and branding agency Managing Director Dan Smith whose team has helped boost the number of an upsurge in applications for places at the unique Christ's Hospital School SUS-190503-142932001

Fireworx marketing and branding agency Managing Director Dan Smith whose team has helped boost the number of an upsurge in applications for places at the unique Christ's Hospital School SUS-190503-142932001

Creative marketing agency Fireworx, based in London and Bournemouth, has worked with the school for 12 months to challenge preconceptions and transform the school’s forward development while maintaining its 460-year traditions.

Clare Phillips, director of marketing at Christ’s Hospital, said: “We wanted a fresh creative approach, one that challenged conventions, taking our school’s legacy and traditions and making it relevant to people from all walks of life through our prospectus, advertising and wider online and traditional marketing communications.

“We have been particularly pleased to have gained a significant increase in the number of enquiries and applications from potential pupils after our link with Fireworx.”

The school approached Fireworx specifically because of the agency’s reputation for ‘disruptive thinking’ and to support it in conveying the message of helping to transform children of all backgrounds and ages through better education.

Fireworx worked with the school’s stakeholders, students, teachers and alumni to help capture a true sense of what it means to attend ‘a school like no other’, and how it transforms the lives of its pupils.

During this comprehensive process the Fireworx team focused on a core concept of the unique journey that pupils take at Christ’s Hospital, depicted through ‘slices in time’ and a graphic representation of a clock face.

Dynamic imagery featured pupils ‘breaking free’ from their surroundings and the theme of a journey through life was taken further by using pupils’ voices and impressions from their first days at school, through to becoming an alumnus, to guide readers through a pupil’s journey at Christ’s Hospital.

Daniel Smith, Fireworx managing director, said: “I will never forget my very first meeting at Christ’s Hospital. I was awestruck by the sheer scale, the history, the uniform and facilities the school had. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

“What really got me though were the pupils. No matter who you spoke to there you were left with a positive impression and there was a sense that being part of the Christ’s Hospital family was enabling these pupils to be the best versions of themselves.

“They not only spoke in a mature manner beyond their years, but there was a sense of humility that children of all backgrounds were challenging themselves to be better.

“I’m incredibly proud to have taken such an established institution and injected our ‘challenger ethos’ into a new dynamic creative approach. The fact that Christ’s Hospital was willing to take such bold choices is testament to their very progressive outlook.”

Christ’s Hospital School remains unique for a UK independent school in that it was established as a charitable school to care for poor and homeless London children and to this day it educates a proportion of its pupils for free and most at a reduced rate.

The school has been compared to Hogwarts as its uniforms are full length gowns from Tudor times, there is a massive dining hall, the school has its own chapel and it sits in 1,200 acres of grounds.