Tim Peake: Chichester school gives send-off to astronaut

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Media captionPupils at Chichester High School cheered on as former pupil Tim Peake began his journey

Pupils and teachers at astronaut Tim Peake's old school gathered excitedly to watch televised coverage of their ex-student heading into space.

About 100 pupils saw the live launch, shown at the Tim Peake Conference Centre at Chichester High School, as others watched around the school.

Physics teacher Mike Gouldstone, who taught Mr Peake, said pupils were "jumping up and down with excitement".

"It's a great day for the school and a great day for Tim," he said.

Speaking about "Major Tim's" time at the school - between 1982 and 1988 - Mr Gouldstone said: "Tim was very engaging and very interested in getting involved with experiments."

Image caption Mike Gouldstone taught Tim Peake physics at Chichester High School

He added: "I know the school is proud. Personally, I feel quite humble, having had the privilege of teaching such a great star as Tim.

"I put a lot down to his parents and those around him. I just shared a bit about the laws of physics with him."

Phil Trowl, who was a school friend of 43-year-old Mr Peake, said the astronaut's home town of Westbourne was "buzzing with excitement" at the prospect of him reaching the International Space Station.

Eight-year-old Rufus Knight, a pupil at Oakwood School near Chichester, met Tim Peake at the Science Museum in London.

Rufus asked him: "... Have you thought about whether Father Christmas will deliver your presents?"

Mr Peake said he thought it was unlikely his presents would be delivered by reindeer, but he said he would "look out the window for any activity".

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