England and Leicester Tigers rugby star, Manu Tuilagi, thrilled Waltham Primary School’s pupils when he dropped in to officially open their new classroom.
The children are now enjoying lessons in a sustainable £470,000 eco building after staff and governors won funding to replace an ageing mobile structure.
The new classroom is clad in wood, it is energy efficient and boasts a zero-carbon energy footprint.
One of its most impressive features is the state-of-the-art heating and cooling system with an ability to generate clean energy from integrated roof panels.
Their sporting superstar visitor was impressed with the building and he also took time to answer questions from the children about his career and his inspirations to get into the sport, as well as kick-off an afternoon rugby tournament for pupils.
Louise Imm, chair of governors, said that “It was fantastic to welcome an international sports star to our small school.
“The children were all very excited, especially as many of them are big Leicester Tigers fans.”
One Year 3 pupil excitedly talked about the experience of meeting Manu as ‘one of the best days ever - I love playing rugby at school and he was really big and strong, I wish he could come back for every PE lesson’.
The new building has been named ‘The Treehouse’ following a competition to suggest suitable names.
It houses two large classrooms, with an enclosed outside area ideal for free-flow activities for the youngest children.
Executive headteacher, Julie Hopkins, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer this beautiful learning space to our children, which will ensure a sustainable learning environment for generations to come.”