Surbiton students hosted a group of extra-terrestrial visitors – but these were no little green men.

NASA and the Natural History Museum lent meteors and moon rocks for a week of lessons at Surbiton High School.

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The lunar samples were gathered by astronauts on the final three Apollo missions in 1971 and 1972.

Science teacher Dr Rob Bastin said: “We were very excited. It’s a real honour – these things don’t come to school that often.

“So often [students] only get to see these kinds of things in museums.

“It dawned on them just how precious the things they had in their hands were. I think they were all taken aback.”

Preparations for the rocks’ visit, principally organised by physics teacher Ann Pudney, was an event in itself.

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Dr Bastin added: “The security we had to go through also made it a little bit daunting. It was like a president visiting, almost.”