Cheney School

Cheney School

Classics at Cheney

The Iris Classics Centre

The Iris Classics Centre at Cheney School is a vibrant community learning venue for people of all ages to attend events, workshops, lessons, and exhibitions. 

Founded and run by educational charity The Iris Project (, the Centre provides a permanent presence within the school for all pupils to engage with the Classics in a range of different ways, and also provides an exciting and accessible place for visitors of all ages from the local community to experience Classics. 

We run annual community festivals, which have featured speakers such as Mary Beard, Bettany Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy, themed days, such as Ancient Astronomy and Roman Medicine, as well as a wide range of projects across subject areas, such Mosaics, Sundials and Classical-themed board game designs. 

The space is decorated with vivid murals and many other features which help make it a lively and engaging place for all ages. We have a large lending library and a wide range of original and replica artefacts, as well as a collection of games, activities and information booklets. 

We are very grateful to volunteers from the University of Oxford Faculty of Classics, other institutions and the wider community, who are involved in our many classes and events. 

upcoming events

Festival of Imagined Worlds 9 February 2018

We are delighted to announce our Festival of Imagined Worlds on Friday 9th February 2018. This event will celebrate novels set in imaginary worlds, and explore how ancient myths and histories have often inspired these worlds. 

The event will include author talks and book illustration workshops, as well as a wide range of stalls, activities and exhibitions. Visitors will be able to walk through different fictional worlds as they explore the site, each one containing striking decorations, workshops, stalls, and activities themed on novels and authors.

The city of Oxford has a strong historical association with fantasy fiction, through authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many others. This event will also be a celebration of these local links with imagined worlds.

The stalls, activities and exhibitions run from 3 until 6pm. It is free and caters for all ages.

The following author talks will take place throughout the afternoon and evening:

2.30pm - Melinda Salisbury, author of the Sin-Eater's Daughter

3pm - Alice Broadway, author of Ink

3.30pm - Alan Gibbons, author of Shadow of the Minotaur 

4pm - Stuart Hill, author of The Icemark Chronicles

4.30pm - Steve Voakes, author of the Dreamwalker's Child

5pm - Angie Sage, author of the Septimus Heap series

5.30pm - Susan Price, author of the Ghost Drum

6pm - James Treadwell, author of the Advent Trilogy

6.30pm - Marie Phillips, author of Gods Behaving Badly

The festival itself does not require booking unless you are visiting with a school group. Author talks do need to be booked, and can be done so by emailing

There is a webpage at: