A STAR pupil had her dreams come true after she was chosen to join the stars of Basildon’s Peter Pan pantomime on stage.

Eight year-old Katie Davies, of the Fremnells, Basildon, was given a “golden ticket” for the final show of this season’s Christmas extravaganza after overcoming her confidence issues.

Since moving to Fairhouse Community School in September 2011 she has been rewarded for her hard work, excellent behaviour and attendance at the end of every half term.

The school, on Long Riding, runs a scheme which sees star pupils presented with green or gold badges depending on how well they have done.

Katie now has a cardigan full of eight gold badges - the maximum she could have received during her time there.

Proud mum Bev Davies, 40, said: “Until she moved to Fairhouse, Katie would never stand up and talk in front of people but now she always gets up in assemblies and reads out poems. It’s amazing how much her confidence has grown.”

After Mrs Davies contacted the Towngate Theatre to tell them about Katie’s achievements, the team immediately decided she should receive a “golden ticket” to the panto.

It is a Davies family tradition to attend the Christmas Eve show of Basildon’s annual pantomime, but this year was extra special as the youngster joined the cast on stage to perform the popular Gangnam Style dance routine.

Mrs Davies said: “I only told her a few days before we went - it was really hard keeping it quiet! She was so excited. What made it so special is that it’s something Katie would never have wanted to do before, but she really loved it. What could be better for an eight year-old than doing Gangnam Style on stage at the Towngate on Christmas Eve? It really got our Christmas off to the best possible start.”

The pantomime, featuring children’s television star Simon Fielding as Peter Pan, will run at the Towngate Theatre, in St Martin’s Square, until Sunday.

For more information visit www.towngatetheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01268 465465.