Remember school's beginning at its end
PUPILS want to go out on a high when their school closes next summer by staging a celebration to mark its contribution to more than a century of education.
Current students from Longton High, in Meir, are leading the project and are keen to invite past pupils, parents, staff and the local community along to share their memories and even sample modern-day lessons.
They could also browse round a gallery of old photographs and watch student bands, actors and dancers perform on stage.
Longton High has now entered The Sentinel's and Barclays' Class Act competition to help fund the day-long event in July.
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If the school lands a £5,000 prize, it would go towards hiring a special stage and marquee and covering other costs.
Headteacher Jan Webber said: "It's going to be a way of recognising the school. Students have talked about what they want people to know about Longton and what's special about the school."
Longton High is closing as a school in its own right in August 2010, when nearby Sandon Business and Enterprise College will take on its pupils and staff.
But young people will still be able to see out their education on the Longton High site.
It will mark the end of a chapter in Stoke-on-Trent's education history. Longton High has been based in three different locations since it first opened in the 1890s.
The school began in a building near Longton library, then moved to Sandon's current site, before transferring to its present location off Box Lane. It has gone from being a boys' grammar school to a mixed comprehensive.
Past pupils have included renowned writers and even an MI5 agent who was jailed for treason after trying to sell secrets to the Russians. Former Port Vale star and Sentinel columnist Robbie Earle also attended Longton High.
Atticus Bettany, from Meir Hay, is one of the pupils involved in planning the celebration day.
The 12-year-old said: "My mum and dad both came to this school as well. That's how they met."
Kayleigh Proctor, aged 12, from Meir, has also followed in the footsteps of older generations of her family.
She said: "My nan has still got some photos of my dad in the football team at school."
Kayleigh has lots of ideas for the school event, including arranging tours of the building for former pupils.
Longton High is now planning a Facebook page to keep people up to date on developments for the celebration. It also wants to hear from people who have got school memorabilia.