Space invaders

Close encounters of the third kind took place when extra terrestrials came to a Plaistow school.

The weird and wonderful aliens, which were created by Lister school students and pupperty artists Kinetika, were unveiled during a parade to celebrate London 2012.

Lister pupil Adil Yousaf, 15, said: “It was a great experience, I worked the large puppet, DNA, and was wearing a brace to support him.

“It was a bit hard on my back after a while but it was worth it.

“It was great to see all the smiles on all the younger students’ faces, especially those that hadn’t had the experience of working with them in the run up to the day.”

DNA and his smaller companion, Chaz, came to visit the school in St Mary’s Road from Planet Imagination to learn about London 2012.

They were welcomed with flags and cookies and an information brochure by Year 7 pupils who entertained them with displays explaining the Olympic tradition.

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The Sober Dance Group and Bhangra Dance Group entertained their unearthly visitors with performances.

A fencing demonstration was also arranged by former Olympian Linda Strachan.

When the ceremonies were over the VIP aliens met some of the school’s students and stayed to play with them before returning to their home in the stars.

School Olympic Ambassador, Lola Adaja, 15, said: “It was a great experience and very touching.

“It felt surreal, even though we all knew they were puppets and had spent so much time working with them; on the day it felt like we were welcoming real visitors.”

Learning and studies centre man-ager Prabha Patel helped the students prepare for the ceremonies.

She said: “This has been an enriching experience and allowed the students to learn in a different way.

“It’s been a fantastic success and we’ve had a really good response.”