Pupils from Prince of Wales School in Dorchester were given the chance to explore their new library for the first time this week as they were surprised by a famous author.

At an opening ceremony on March 4 the Mayor of Dorchester, Cllr David Taylor, was joined by celebrated children’s author David Solomons in declaring the school library officially open.

Mr Solomons' first novel for children, ‘My Brother is a Superhero’, won the Waterstones Children’s Prize and the British Book Industry Awards Children’s Book, both in 2016. He said: “It’s great to return to The Prince of Wales School and see the progress they have made since my last visit in January 2018. The library space they have created is exceptional and what is most impressive is the investment they have made in stocking the space with high quality texts that will inspire a love of reading for all children.”

Speaking about the new library space, Headteacher Gary Spracklen thanked all the people who had helped make the project a reality. He said: “This isn’t just about today, this is about inspiring our children to become lifelong readers. We will continue to seek to develop the space and make it the very best it can be for generations to come.

"I feel passionately that every school should have a beautiful library. A space where children want to be, where they can explore texts, discover new cultures and be immersed in a world of pure imagination. Our new space does just that and I am delighted that we’ve been able to welcome David Solomons back to our school today to open this most magical of spaces."

Year 1 Pupil Cameron said: “We love our new library. It’s jam packed with lots of wonderful tales that help us become better readers. I also like all the non-fiction books and finding out information about world and all about space.”

Year 4 pupil Reece added: “The new library we have at school is so much bigger than the old one. It’s full of lots of new books as well as all our old favourites. I’ve really enjoyed reading The Railway Children in class recently.”

Teaching Assistant and school librarian, Barbara Thomas, said: "We are already seeing children progress quicker with their reading through rich engagement with this programme and the new library space. The Prince of Wales School is a very exciting place to be a young learner, our new school library only adds to this.”

Fran Leaper, of Poundbury Community Trust, said "We are delighted to have given a cheque for £1500 towards books for the new library at The Prince of Wales School. Books are such an important part of children’s education and if our money can help strengthen their library then that’s terrific."

Prince of Wales was given a 'Good' rating by Ofsted after an inspection in June 2018. The report said: “Leaders have ensured that the school’s engaging curriculum is inspiring pupils to learn. There is a breadth of coverage which is underpinned by numerous opportunities for pupils to develop their writing [. . .] teachers look for every opportunity to supplement the curriculum with activities and events that inspire pupils and fire their imagination."