THE corridors and classrooms of an Oxford secondary school are to be transformed after plans to base a museum there were given the go-ahead.

Cheney School in Headington is to become the country's first "museum school", one year after it began working with the Arts Council Accreditation Scheme for museums.

Educational charity The Iris Project, which promotes the languages and cultures of the ancient world to UK state schools, has spearheaded the project after running a classics centre at Cheney since October 2013.

The Iris Project director Dr Lorna Robinson said the school's unique museum status would allow it to display almost 200 items donated to the charity since it was set up 10 years ago.

She said: "We have gathered about 180 objects, when we set up the classics centre people would come in and bring in artefacts they found.

"We wanted to preserve that collection and show it off to the biggest range of people.

"The intention is to display a lot of the artefacts but also have some as handling collections.

"At the moment because it has grown out of the classics centre most of the objects are Roman and Ancient Greek.

"But we hope through being accredited we will collect from a wide range of eras such as the First World War."

The school now has two years to work towards being granted official museum status by the Arts Council.

It is hoped the first displays will be in place for the start of the new school year in September, with more to be rolled out in the following months.

As well as objects that have been donated to The Iris Project, the intention is to borrow items from the Oxfordshire Museum Service.

Dr Robinson said: "There are some amazing museums in Oxfordshire but there are lots of students who do not use them for lots of reasons.

"This will bring access to museums to people who may not go to the main ones.

"It might serve as an introduction, bringing the museum to students."

Dr Robinson added as well as the displays and exhibitions, students and the wider community would be able to attend workshops, talks, courses and other events about archaeology and artefacts.

The museum will be supported and sponsored by an anonymous donor.

Year 10 pupil Leonard Cowee, 14, said: "Setting up a museum will give us more access to artefacts and the ancient world.

"I think this will really help people with their studying and will give them direct access to history and to really seeing it in front of them.

"I think it seems really good and will work really well."