X Factor finalist Louisa Johnson was mobbed by pupils at her old school in Grays today after she surprised them with a whistlestop visit with mentor popstar Rita Ora.

The singer held an emotional reunion with her old teachers at her former school St Thomas Catholic Primary School in Grays.

Louisa, who only just this weekend made it through to the X Factor final, went on to perform on stage for a crowd of about two hundred children.

As the young fans chanted her name, the young star told her old school it meant a huge amount to her to sing on the stage where she used to perform as a child.

She said: “It’s so strange to be back here, it’s really amazing and I feel so lucky. I was brought up here and so to sing again on this stage is so cool. The last time I sang on that stage I was 10 years old!

“I’d love to work more with the kids. The support here has been amazing – when I got off the bus, it was almost overwhelming!”

Headteacher Chris Birtles, who remembered Louisa as a child said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. Until she got through the round on Saturday we weren’t even sure if she’d make it today so we’re absolutely thrilled.

“The kids are really excited – as she said on stage, it’s all about following your dreams. And this is where it all started – performing on that stage - and just look where she is now. Her coming back has been emotional, to say the least.”

Her old teacher Anne Davies said: “It’s so amazing to have her back here today…Everytime I see her in X Factor I can’t stop crying. We are so proud. She was such a lovely girl at school, such a good girl and to have her here today, well it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Former reception teacher Kate Cassidy said: “I couldn’t stop crying the first time I saw her on tv. And today – because she’s done what she wanted to do, she’s followed her dream.”

Other teachers said how even as a six year old, Louisa had shared with friends and her teacher how much she wanted to be a singer when she grew up.

The seventeen year old star and her international pop star mentor Rita were both at the school as the first stop on a day of filming in Grays. 

The surprise visit came on the back of the 17-year old starlet making it through the semi-finals on Saturday to the X Factor finals next weekend.

They pulled up in her giant white tour bus marked ‘Vote Louisa’ as hundreds of school kids chanted her name and waved placards made that morning.

The two stars will also be on Grays High Street this afternoon to sign autographs and for a meet-and-greet at 3pm.

Video 1: watch Louisa get mobbed by tiny fans as she gets off her Battle Bus.

Video 2: watch Louisa perform on her old stage, with the help of some pupils.


Video 3: Meet young X Factor fans Imanpreet Singh Chandi, 9 and Emily Smith, 9 as they say why they are rooting for Louisa to win.