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History of Ray National School

Ray National School was founded in 1740 by the Charter Society. The school was a boarding school and intended for children of poor parents and orphans. At that time the school had land surrounding it and offered training in agricultural and domestic pursuits as well as the 3 R's.

Ray National School ceased to be a Charter School in 1820 when the boarding pupils were moved to Strangford. The school was now a day school. In 1895 it became a national school. We continue to have many roll books and registers from this time to present day during which time 1,108 pupils have attended the school.

Ray N.S. became known as The Free School, Grant's School and Moore's School. The last two named after the teachers at the time. During this time the teachers and their families lived in the building.

The old Ray School remained in use until 2001 when, after years of effort by many people, we moved into our new building. Our present school was designed by Mr Jonathon Bliss an architect working in the Department of Education. Carl Moore of Ramelton, Co Donegal built our school.

We had our official opening on 15th June 2001 when Mrs Wylie was Principal. Dr James McDaid, Minister for Sports and Tourism at that time officiated at the ceremony. Also in attendance were the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, The Very Reverend James Mehaffey, Dean Stephen White, local councillors and dignitaries, parents, pupils, staff, past pupils and members of the local community. It was a great day for our school. The school consisted of two classrooms, staff room and resource room.

During this time our numbers continued to rise with new families joining our school each year.

1998 - 1999 38

2014 - 2015 70

In 2002 we had 55 children on our rolls taking our school to a three teacher school for the first time. During this year Ms Bustard contacted the Department regarding temporary accommodation for our 3rd teacher. Ms Eileen O'Connor took our details and said she would get back to us.

Within two weeks we got details of our inclusion in a Pilot Scheme. We travelled to Tullamore and discovered that we were to receive a grant of 100,000. The school was to appoint a project manager to oversee the building of our extension. M.H. Associates were employed by the Board Of Management to this end. Plans were drawn up and after consultation with Board Of Management, architects and parents it was decided to include a staffroom, office and storage along with the classroom. McNamee Construction Ltd., Liam McCrossan and Blackburn Electrical were to undertake construction of the project.

In May 2004 construction began and by Halloween we were ready to move in.

We feel this extension has greatly enriched our school environment. It gives us room and space to grow and learn. Each class has now got a classroom and a school to be proud of. Our full-time staff and many part-time staff have comfortable rooms to work in. We look forward to future years, pupils, parents and staff with optimism.

Here's a few photos of Ray School from the past.