It’s now over 4 weeks since students started term at our new Sixth Form site at 333 Banbury Road but the moving-in celebrations continue:
On Saturday 9 September, the Villa and teaching buildings were open as part of Oxford Open Doors. Over 600 people visited during the course of the day, including many local residents who had watched the Villa fall into disrepair before seeing it transformed (by both renovation and new building) into the impressive and architecturally striking facility it is now. Many of the visitors had memories of the site in previous incarnations, including two separate couples who had held their wedding receptions at 333 in years gone by. Reaction was extremely favourable, one guest book entry summing it up with, “What a transformation!”.
This week, we welcomed students, parents and staff from our Years 7-11 to look around the Sixth Form and join in a tea party to celebrate moving in. Former Principal, Sami Cohen, and former Academic Head, Richard Knowles, were in attendance as it was formally announced that the Cohen Hall and Knowles Library have been named in their honour. We were also treated to a performance by our Gaudeamus Choir, singing an unaccompanied vocal piece composed especially for the occasion (and as a retirement present for Sami ) by Gidon Fineman, a former d’Overbroecks’ student, now composer and music teacher.
Yesterday evening, more guests arrived – this time from other schools, businesses, venues and arts organisations in Oxford and further afield. Respresentatives of the architects, building contractors and other individuals and companies involved in the build were also here and were given a special mention by Principal Emma-Kate Henry during speeches. On both occasions, parents of current and former d’Overbroeck’s students spoke passionately about their appreciation for the school and in particular the teaching and the unique and lasting relationships which teachers forge with students and their parents.
Visitors were invited to tour the buildings on guided tours and as the sun set through the Art Room windows in a glowing display fully intended by the architects, appreciative and congratulatory comments were heard echoing throughout the spaces.
d’Overbroeck’s next Open Morning will be held on Saturday 7 October from 10am to 1pm.
Prospective students for the Sixth Form can visit 333 Banbury Road, whilst Years 7-11 students and staff will be putting on a show at d’Overbroeck’s Leckford Road site at the same time. Registration is via our website here or by calling Senior Registrar, Lynne Berry, on 01865 688600.