Not many of us miss school. Yet, sometimes we’ll find ourselves watching a movie and really truly wishing we could go back and do it all again. Not just anywhere, mind you. We’d only be willing to pick up the books once more for an extraordinary institution - one of these awing reposes of magical knowledge, where students encounter multitudes of unexplainable events and spend their time in adventurous antics. And after careful thought, we’ve come up with our list of favourites, ranked in our order of preference. Grab your broomstick, cauldron and pet toad, and see if you agree with us.
1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Topping our list is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This rather unique institution welcomes and protects children with special talents who don’t fit anywhere else. And these abilities aren’t just airy fairy stuff: students are permanently invisible, have jaws at the back of heads, or attract bees. It’s located on a small island off the coast of Wales. In a time loop stuck in 1943. It was a close call between this one and number two, but we do love Miss Peregrine’s overall gothic vibe, as well as the idea of time travel as part of our school commute.
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2. Hogwarts, Harry Potter
The awesomeness that is Hogwarts needs little introduction, and if we’re going to be honest, we’re still a little sore that we never got our admissions letter by owl post back in the day. Its curriculum sounds wondrous and we love the residents (the ghosts! the house elves! the portraits!) and professors alike. And doesn’t everyone dream of seeing Quidditch played live? We’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed that we would get sorted into the House we’d like.
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3. Camp Half-Blood, Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Despite its strange name, Camp Half-Blood is pretty cool. The settlement, based somewhere in Long Island, is designed to host the human children of Greek gods. There they can practice their powers away from monsters and prying eyes. We think living in a summer camp forever with our mates sounds like a dream.
4. Jordan College, The Golden Compass
Think Oxford University in a steampunk parallel universe, and you’re at Jordan College. It’s the foremost place of study for experimental theology, which sounds awesome, and it’s full of craggly buildings, secret passages and old professors which heavy secrets. Also, if you live in its world, you get a daemon - a sort of pet best friend that always stays by your side. What more could you ask for?
5. Monsters University
Adorable looking Monsters. Amazing extra-curricular activities. Studying for a prestigious degree in ‘scaring’. What’s not to love at Monsters University? Plus, it’s always been our dream to live in a Pixar movie, and we’ve decided that Mike and Sully would make amazing BFFs. We’re disappointed though that the frat culture is so toxic - and it turns out that with scaring, you’re better off learning it on the job anyway.
6. St Vladimir’s Academy, Vampire Academy
This vampire high school located in the middle of Montana mixes undead politics and teen drama to dangerous effect. But at least the friendships you make there are real solid. Like, beyond-death solid. Overall, we’re not sure how long we would survive, so we’re ranking this down, but boy it’d be fun to be an (invisible) observer to it all.
7. Forks High School, Twilight
Forks High School is pretty much standard fare, and we’d only really go for its out-of-the-ordinary dating scene. It is, after all, an integral part of teenage experience. Classes are brim-full of attractive vampires and werewolves, so likelihood is that’ll you find yourself a supernatural prom date in no time. Be warned however that they might come with (a lot of) emotional baggage. If that’s not your thing, Forks is the rainiest place ever, so probably best not bother.
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8. Crunchem Hall, Matilda
We love Matilda, her telekinetic powers, her mischievousness, and her absolute and unrepentant adoration for books. But we wouldn’t go to her surreal school for the world. Its principal, Miss Trunchbull, has a rather horrid approach to education, involving tossing children into the air and force feeding chocolate cake. Um, thanks, but no thanks.
Matilda is available now on Sky Cinema