Staff and students at Gwaunmeisgyn Primary School were ‘over the moon’ when astronaut Major Tim Peak popped in on a surprise visit.
The former Apache pilot, flight instructor, test pilot and current European Space Agency astronaut had earlier received a letter from the school, telling him all about their exciting new school project.
And it was during his visit to Wales this week as part of his UK tour called ‘My Journey To Space,’ that he decided to surprise the young learners at Gwaunmeisgyn Primary School by calling in to see them all.
Teacher Sarah Dyer had previously written to Major Tim Peake to tell him about the start of their new topic on Space, inviting him to call in whenever he was in the vicinity.
Having read the letter and following his show at St David’s Hall in Cardiff the previous night, and heading to his next venue, Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, Major Tim Peake made a slight detour to visit the school.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said:
“It is wonderful that Major Tim Peake took the time to surprise the young learners at Gwunmeisgyn Primary School, who are about to start their new school project on the theme of Space.
“To have a real-life astronaut drop in to say hello is a great way to start their new project. I am sure they will have plenty to write and talk about for a long time to come.”
A veteran with 18 years military service, Major Tim Peake has flown over 3,000 hours on operations worldwide. In December 2015, he became the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station and to conduct a spacewalk during his six-month mission. During his time in space, he also took part in the London Marathon aboard the ISS treadmill before returning to Earth on June 18, 2016.
His Mission engaged more than two million students in outreach activities. He is an ambassador for STEM Education, the Prince’s Trust and the Scout Association and now a best-selling author with his autobiographyLimitless and attracting sell-out audiences at theatres across the country with his first-ever tour.
Andrew Llewelyn, headteacher at Gwaunmeisgyn Primary School, said:
“It was a huge pleasure and privilege to welcome Major Tim Peake to our school on his surprise visit. It is a day that will live with our students and staff for the rest of their lives – it is not every day we have a real-life spaceman in our school!
“He is a true inspiration to many and showed a great interest in our Space Project. We thank him sincerely for taking the time out of his busy schedule to drop in to see us all.”
Major Tim Peake, speaking at Gwunmeisgin Primary, said:
“It was fabulous to visit the school and to get a fantastic welcome and some great engagement from the students and the staff. It is just so inspiring to see how excited they are about Space, Science, Engineering and Technology.”