The trio in their first year

"There was a lot more to magic, as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand and saying a few funny words."
—A lesson all first years learn[src]

A first year was a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who was new to Hogwarts and in their first year of magical education. Those who received their Hogwarts letter at age eleven were permitted to attend.[1]

Starting Hogwarts

Travelling to Hogwarts

"Firs'-years! Firs'-years over here!"
Rubeus Hagrid greeting new students[src]

First years travelling across the Black Lake on boats

First years were typically eleven to twelve years of age, and begin the year by boarding the Hogwarts Express at exactly 11 a.m. on 1 September from King's Cross Station, from which they travel to Hogwarts.[2] If they live in Hogsmeade, they do not need to catch the train.

From there, first year students were accompanied by the Keeper of Keys and Grounds (or another suitable teacher if the Keeper was absent), along a shady path that led to a fleet of small boats, which sailed themselves across the Black Lake before arriving at a small landing stage near the base of Hogwarts Castle.[2]

Students would then await their turn to be Sorted into their houses in the Great Hall.[3] A teacher would take them to a small room where they would await the Sorting ceremony.[4]

The Start-of-Term Feast

"Everybody finished the song at different times. At last, only the Weasley twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march"
—How the Hogwarts song finished in Harry Potter's first year[src]

1991 Hogwarts Sorting Ceremony

Just before the Start-of-Term Feast begins, new students were Sorted into one of four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) by the Sorting Hat. The Hat analysed each student's mind, looking for specific characteristics that it used to decide where to put each student. After the Sorting, the Headmaster would say a few words and the feast would begin.[3]

After the feast, the headmaster would say a few more words; if he or she was feeling particularly festive, they would direct the students as they sang the school song, such as the year Harry Potter came to Hogwarts. Dumbledore used his wand as a conductor's baton, conjuring a ribbon that floated in the air, forming the words for the students to sing along with, each singing to the tune of their choice. Not all Professors were overly fond of the song, but Albus Dumbledore, the wise and odd man he was, conducted the singing with gusto and even teared up in the end:[3]

Hogwarts, Hogwarts,
Hoggy Warty Hogwarts
Teach us something, please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.

During the first year


"To their great surprise, both he and Ron passed with good marks; Hermione, of course, had the best grades of the first years. Even Neville scraped through, his good Herbology grade making up for his abysmal Potions one."
—Harry's first experiences with end of the year exams[src]

Severus Snape teaching Potions to a first-year class

A first year charms class

Flying class

First year students had to take: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, and Herbology, classes that were mandatory throughout their first five years of magical education.[5] First years, and only first years, were required to take Flying class, where they learned the basic commands to give to their broomstick, as well as basic tricks and tips for riding, as most of the first years have probably never flown before arriving at Hogwarts school.[6]



Defence Against the Dark Arts





History of Magic

First year restrictions

"Parents are reminded that first years are not allowed their own broomsticks"
—Extract from the Hogwarts acceptance letter[src]

First years could not go to Hogsmeade with the students in the third year or above, and were not permitted to have their own broomstick inside the school grounds until second year.[15] They were further forbidden from taking Divination, Muggle Studies, Study of Ancient Runes, Care of Magical Creatures and Arithmancy until third year,[16] and Apparition and Alchemy until sixth year.[17]

Required textbooks


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6 (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 8.29 8.30 8.31 8.32 8.33 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Pottermore
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 16 (Through the Trapdoor)
  12. Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 13 (Nicolas Flamel)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  16. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  17. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Hogwarts School Subjects" at Wizarding World
Hogwarts years
First - Second - Third - Fourth - Fifth - Sixth - Seventh
*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.