There was a watery surprise awaiting Dorchester pupils yesterday as their school put important environmental issues at the forefront of the curriculum.

The Prince of Wales School launched the beginning of its 'Science Week' which saw the school transformed into an underwater world.

Sea shanty singers, The Dorset Wrecks, greeted children as they arrived at school from onboard a boat moored at the main entrance to the school.

Inside, children discovered the corridors had been transformed into a underwater wonderland with sea turtles, crabs, lobsters and even jellyfish swimming around.

However, the fun-themed week comes with an important message about plastic waste and how actions can impact the environment.

Headteacher Gary Spracklen said: "We are in a unique position within schools to be able to promote ethical issues and it's never been more important than it is now.

"The Prince of Wales School has always been eco-focused but it's always good to refocus our efforts and get everybody involved. We are proud to support the ‘Plastic Free Dorchester Campaign’ and believe it’s important our children understand the scientific link between their actions and the future of our planet”."

The launch marked the beginning of a week of environment themed workshops and activities, including a whole school litter pick with each class taking on a different part of Dorchester.

The school will also be hosting a variety of eco-friendly visitors including the Watercress Company, Dorset Waste Partnership, Don't Inflate to Celebrate and Grant Stentiford from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).

Science leader, Becci Thorpe, said: "We wanted to make the week a little more exciting than just telling the children about plastic. This is something they will remember forever and the message will stick with them.

“We already do lots as a school to encourage our children to be good eco-citizens. We are one of only a handful of local schools to take an active part in the ‘Eco-Schools Scheme’ and we are proud of our ‘Green Flag’ school status. While events like this year’s Science Week do well to remind our community about the importance of sustainable living, it’s the everyday choices that make the difference”.

Miss Thorpe added the week also marked the beginning of the school's campaign to get 'plastic-free status'.

On Thursday, Mayor of Dorchester David Taylor will be dropping by to officially open the school's new 'eco-shed' which helps the local community to recycle difficult items and where they can buy sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning products.

Staff governor, Barbara Thomas said: "I think all schools should be making children aware. Our generation didn't worry about the environment but this generation can really make a difference. If each first school taught children how important it is, hopefully it is something that will carry on throughout their lives."

‘Stop Plastic Pollution' presented by The Prince of Wales School will be on display until Friday, February 15. If other schools want to visit call 01305 257120.