Strand Road National School Pupils c.1915 - Photos (2)

Strand Road National School Pupils c.1934 - Photo 1

Strand Road National School Pupils c.1934 - Photo 2 


Empire Day c.1935



On page 99 of the Inspector's District Book - List of National Schools, dated 1870, Strand Road National School, in District No. 2 was entered in the Parish of Templemore, Post Town - Derry, Barony - Liberties, Derry, and with Rev. Matthew Wilson as the Correspondent.

Strand Presbyterian Church erected the School House in 1850 adjacent to the church. The building remains intact and in occasional use as accommodation for church functions. Older members of the congregation still refer to the building as "The Schoolroom", but it is generally known as "The Old Hall."

On 11th April 1851, Mr Brandon was engaged as teacher. The school opened on 1st May 1851.

Newspaper reports reflected the success and growth of the school eg from " The Londonderry Sentinel", 17th January 1878, this quotation:-
"Strand Road National School - On Monday last the pupils attending the above school, who had passed in four or more subjects at the last annual examinations were presented by their efficient teacher, Mr William Henderson, with prizes in the shape of valuable books. There were upwards of fifty pupils thus qualified, to whom the Rev. Matthew Wilson, the esteemed patron of the school, handed the prizes. The school has a staff of five and is at present in a flourishing condition. The average attendance during the past year is about 100 pupils."

At the start of 1914 Mr.Robert Gray was Headmaster of the school. The school, still with about 100 pupils was overcrowded but with the educational methods of that time, it provided a sound education for all pupils in a caring atmosphere.

In 1921 the school facilities were renovated and improved at the cost of £1650. Part of this expense was provided by The Education Authority.

By the mid - thirties The Education Authority was planning to build a Public Elementary School which would accommodate the pupils of Strand Road School.  At this time Mr Ernest Clayton was Headmaster of the school, assisted by two teachers.

In 1937 the Model Public Elementary School was opened. All the pupils, staff and work of Strand Road school were transferred to the new school. The Headmaster, Mr Clayton, was appointed Headmaster of the new school.

Responsibility for education did not end when the church school closed. As transferors, Strand Presbyterian Church still nominates members to serve on the Management Committee of the Model School.