A SPECIAL guest has booked into St Andrew’s School to officially open its new library.
Children’s author and former St Andrew’s parent Tom Easton celebrated the new library with pupils and staff at the school.
He officially opened the library on November 23 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and spoke to all the pupils.
Everyone was delighted and honoured to welcome him back to St Andrew’s, where all three of his children attended.
Tom’s books include a wide range of titles for all ages from first readers to teenage novels, including the acclaimed Boys Don’t Knit and Pirate Underpants, which students were treated to an exclusive reading from the author himself, along with a healthy sprinkling of pirate-themed jokes!
Tom said: “This was a huge honour and brought back some wonderful memories.
“I first visited the school 15 years ago when we were trying to decide where our eldest daughter would go.
“We looked at a few different schools but when we saw St Andrew’s we knew it was the perfect one for her. And for us as a family.
“It’s so pretty and central to the town – it’s a real part of the community and we have always felt very grateful that all three of our children came here.
The school is situated in the heart of Farnham’s historic town centre and now has a close association with Potters Gate Primary School – a fellow town centre school and member of the Good Shepherd Trust.
St Andrew’s pupils now feed into Potters Gate School and as a part of this new association, St Andrew’s has had some renovations, including the addition of the library which has reportedly “transformed the school and given the children a fabulous new area in which to explore and enjoy the wonders of reading”.
Special thanks were given to Alix Fry, a St Andrew’s mother and all-round helper who spent untold hours reorganising and restocking the library with new books funded courtesy of the PTA, along with assistance from PTA chairman Fiona Atherton, Robins Class teacher Bonnie Lloyd, Marie Wilkins, and a huge team of parent volunteers.
Jayne Venables, executive headteacher of St Andrew’s and Potters Gate schools, said: “It is very pleasing to see St Andrew’s going from strength to strength with the support of our dedicated parent body and joint working with Potters Gate School.”
Author Tom added: “It was wonderful to see the new library. The children will have more books, and more quiet space to read them in.
“A lot of towns and schools in Britain are having to close down their libraries to save money and to me that’s a terrible mistake.
“The author Phillip Pullman once said ‘after nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world’.
“The new library at St Andrew’s is an indicator of the importance the school places on stories, books, learning and fun.
“The school’s commitment to this essential aspect of the development of our town’s children impresses on me that my wife and I made the right decision 15 years ago when we chose this very special school.”
Tom is an author of fiction for all ages and has written more than 30 books. He has written under a number of different pseudonyms in a variety of genres.
He lives in Farnham with his wife, three children and two cats. In his spare time he works as a production manager for a UK publisher and his latest book is Girls Can’t Hit.