A HEADTEACHER has described the honour at leading his school into its 450th anniversary.

Matthew Albrighton only took over at Burford School last month after spending eight years as the deputy headteacher at St Edward’s School in Oxford.

The West Oxfordshire boarding school was founded in 1571, with events to celebrate the special anniversary set to take place throughout the academic year.

See also: Headteacher says move to county’s largest trust will benefit thousands

Mr Albrighton is in the unusual position of being headteacher for the momentous anniversary despite only being in the job a matter of weeks.

He said: “It is an incredible honour to be headteacher at Burford School as we turn 450.

“The long history permeates the school and influences how we educate.

“We value who our young people become and not only the academic outcomes they achieve.

“This ideal was set in place by one of the founders, Simon Wysdom, who in 1571 asked the young ‘obtain increase of virtue and learning’.

“The importance of being active has continued throughout the school’s history and today we see high levels of student participation in sport and music.

“This is further enhanced in the way we nurture a very particular Burford identity rooted in the town and the country around.”

See more: College sells 40 per cent of science park to Singapore firm

Addressing what it meant to be headteacher for the 450th anniversary, Mr Albrighton said: “There is often high anxiety when moving to a new school for students and teachers alike.

“I have been struck by the ease with which I have been able to settle into the post.

“Burford is a very special community and the welcome has been truly wonderful.

“I have been particularly impressed by the way that everyone has got back to business after the disruption over the last 18 months.

“This is a true testament to the character of Burford School.”

Saturday will see an alumni reunion and unveiling of commemorative window as the celebrations ramp up.

Read more: New £43m research institute opens its doors

Then, the school’s annual Christmas celebration will take place at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on December 15, while the school will put on a production of Les Miserables with six performances in March and April.

The culmination of the 450th anniversary will be a summer ball on July 9.

Family, alumni and the local community are invited to come together and celebrate the school’s history, with the ball to be held on the school premises.

Originally housed in what is now the school’s boarding house, the school has grown to just over 1,400 students.

Today, the school provides a home for 100 students from both the local area and abroad.