Rosemount Primary School opened in 1912, when St Eugene's Boys' National School moved premises to Helen Street, Derry. It was designed by Architect E J Toye and built at a cost of £4000.
John Mc Namara was the first principal and the school was un-officially opened as Mc Namara's Academy. At the time of the move to Helen Street, 230 pupils (all boys) attended the school from areas as far away as Pennyburn and the Strand Road.
School started at 9.00am and finished at 3.00pm. Children attended from around age 6 to age 14 when they either left school to get jobs, or if they passed the entrance exams and their parents could afford it, they went to a grammar school in the town.
School subjects included English, Irish, and Maths.
Throughout the years Rosemount has changed. From its beginning in 1912 with 230 boys, attendance rose to 1100 boys in 1971.
The 1960's saw the building of new blocks to house all the children and teachers.
Among the school’s well known past pupils are Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, , veteran campaigner Eamon McCann, UTV journalist Mark McFadden, Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey and the late Gerry Anderson and John Hume MP MEP who started in 1945.
In 1973, possibly the biggest change for Rosemount occurred when the school became co-educational and girls were admitted for the first time. Today this is the norm, but in those days the first girls entered Primary 1 and it took a further 7 years before girls were in every primary.
President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins visited the school in April 2012. Our children were entranced by this charming and eloquent man. President Higgins spoke of the School's long association with The Arts and Education.
The School Choir performed a variety of Irish favourites. The After School Irish Dancing Club danced jigs and team reels. The school echoed to the sounds of tin whistles, fiddles, flutes, clarinets and trumpets. The children gave of their best and this was evident to all as the President commented on the excellence of their performance and the joy on the children’s faces whilst they performed. This was high praise indeed from such a cultured and well-rounded individual.
Well done to all the Parents and Pupils of Rosemount Primary School. It is a day which will live on in our memories and enrich the history of this School in the years to come.