Since Longstone school first opened in 1904, it has been at the heart of the local community.
Many children have come in and out through the doors over the years and have jumped to attention when the school bell rang.Throughout the decades there have been changes in the building, the staff, the governors and the children.
The school has always moved with the times and continued to ensure the best provision for the children in the area.
Despite all the changes, one thing has remained, the ethos and atmosphere in the school. It truly can be described as a ‘home from home’, a place where children have been valued and nurtured and have been prepared for the next part of their journey.
This poem, written by the father of one of our teachers, sums up the Longstone story very well.
Built and opened for the pupils for their teaching and much more
A new school for the neighbourhood in the year 1904
Near Randalstown Portglenone Road at townland of Kilcurry
To Carnearney Road Ahoghill the primary pupils hurry.
This replaced the Upper Largy School that got beyond repair
They bought a site for fifteen quid they worked with skills and care
For building and equipment, though bills they seemed immense
Thomas McMeekin paid for all at his very own expense
They built the walls of blackstone their length was fifty feet
They sunk a pump for water for their daily needs to meet
Then much later a staffroom, toilets, corridor by extension
And later still two classrooms we really ought to mention
The school creed affected everyone, it focused every mind
On peace, contentment, loving God, our neighbours and mankind
A motto centred all our hearts preparing for our nation
To teach and learn and get achievement through co-operation
Robert McMullan served as principal until 1934
Followed by Douglas Stevenson who served for six years more
In 1940 Robert Graham, held post till ’81 so keen
Then 24 year old Elizabeth Kirkpatrick till year 2015
Now principal Lemund Moody filled post to 2021
With teaching, administration and the odd we bit o’ fun
With all the other teachers, other staff through each school term
Worked faithfully and thoroughly, this to you I must confirm
This school was a great success the neighbours will all tell
The pupils all attended, teachers taught them o so well
The reading, writing, spelling, English and arithmetic
Some pupils became famous, they worked so hard so quick.
With small classes for the teachers so thoroughly they toiled
The pupils didn’t know it but they were truly spoiled
The care and inspiration that all the pupils got
To upset this wee primary school could enter no one’s thought
But sentimental values they offered non defences
To let this school continue beat hard upon our senses
So now the door is closing, no more learning no more fun
Poor Longstone is now history from year 2021.
Sadly, it is the end of the road for Longstone; the school gates will close and the playground will be silent. Children's laughter and all the ‘busy-ness’ of the school will be past. The desks will be empty but our hearts and minds will be full of love with all the memories we have each made there.
The school recently held a celebration service in First Presbyterian Church, Ahoghill for pupils, parents, staff, governors and past pupils.
It was a lovely evening of sharing and looking back over past memories and giving thanks for all that Longstone has meant to everyone over the years.
We look forward to what the future has in store for the children, staff and friends of Longstone.
One thing we know, we will all have our affection for the school in common and memories made are not easily taken away.
Mrs L Moody
Principal, Longstone PS