A SCHOOL which began life at the home of its founder has unveiled "stunning" new facilities.

Staff at d'Overbroeck's in north Oxford, welcomed parents, headteachers and guests to its gleaming sixth form block, for an official launch night on Thursday. And joining them was the school's new principal Emma-Kate Henry.

The private school's campus at 333 Banbury Road houses a library, communal space and classrooms complete with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Addressing guests including Lord Mayor of Oxford Jean Fooks on Thursday evening, Mrs Henry described the buildings and neighbouring boarding houses as "a stunning place to learn and live in".

She described the facilities as a "splendid backdrop" for the school's 280 sixth form students, who began classes in their swish new surroundings four weeks ago.

The multi-million pound site was built in 68 weeks, around a grand 19th century house known as Summerhill Villa – a former Masonic Lodge.

The building was renovated as part of d'Overbroeck's' transformation, but historic features were preserved.

Speaking at the campus's new Cohen Hall, deputy principal Alastair Barnett said the site opened up new opportunities.

Referring to d'Overbroeck's origins 40 years ago, in the terraced Oxford home of its founder Malcolm van Biervliet, he added: "It has never been about facilities.

"For me, d'Overbroeck's is about the human dynamic. It's a special place and what's kept me here is the relationship amongst staff and students. It really has been a pleasure to spend the bulk of my working life here.

"The relationship of staff and students is not 'us and them'. We love seeing them thrive."

Stressing the importance of maintaining that ethos, he said: "I hope it's not out with the old and in with the new. We will be fighting hard to make sure we keep the old as well: that's what makes it what it is."

Parents stepped up to the microphone to sing the school's praises.

One father, who has two sons at the school, said: "With these new facilities the school can only go from strength to strength.

"I have every confidence this is only the beginning of d'Overbroeck's' lasting success."

Cohen Hall was named after the school's former principal Sami Cohen, who retired in summer after more than 20 years at its helm.

He saw the build through a suspected arson attack on the site in March 2016.

Also housed in the new centre are five science laboratories and a 180-seater auditorium, which will be made available for community use.