Runnymede celebrate official opening of new primary school

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP has officially opened Runnymede St Edward’s Catholic Primary School.   

This was a joyous occasion for the Runnymede St Edward’s community and the Edmund Rice Trust as, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the official opening had been postponed since it opened its doors as a voluntary aided maintained school on the 1 September 2020. 

This status will enable future generations of children, from across Liverpool and beyond, to experience a Catholic education in the truest tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice who, in 1802, formed a religious congregation that sought to improve the lives of the poor via transformational education. Runnymede is part of a global network of schools united in the spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice offering a liberating education, based on gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity. 

Runnymede children will benefit from a run through education to the outstanding St Edward’s College with which the school shares first-class facilities.  The school’s ongoing unique status as the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir School, also means that choristers can now be selected purely on musical excellence alone without the burden of school fees.   

Mr John McCabe, Runnymede Chair of Governors, said: “It has been an honour to have overseen the school’s transition and enable an exciting new future for this unique and inspiring school.”  

Upon his arrival at this momentous occasion, Archbishop Malcolm was warmly welcomed by the school’s head boy and head girl alongside invited guests who have supported Runnymede’s journey.   

Archbishop Malcolm embarked upon a guided tour of the school observing the exciting learning opportunities available to the young Edwardians in each class.  The children asked a range of questions and volunteers were delighted to have the opportunity to be photographed wearing his mitre whilst holding his crosier. 

As the official Choir School to the Metropolitan Cathedral, music is celebrated and nurtured throughout Runnymede.  All Key Stage 2 children enjoy a weekly instrumental lesson and Archbishop Malcom and invited guests had the opportunity to enjoy a performance from the school’s ‘String Group’. 

Runnymede was also the founding member of the new ‘Archdiocese of Liverpool School Singing Programme’ (launched by Dr McElroy – director of music at the Metropolitan Cathedral) and Key Stage 2 children performed a beautiful song that they had especially prepared for the Archbishop in these sessions. 

Following this, the party gathered together in prayer to participate in a collective worship led by young Edwardians from Year 6 who reflected on Runnymede’s past traditions whilst embracing the opportunities that lie ahead.  

Archbishop Malcolm proceeded to bless the school and unveil a plaque to commemorate this extraordinary occasion before the choristers sang ‘Panis Angelicas’ on the grand staircase to all in attendance.  

Headteacher, Kate Peaston, said: “Runnymede is a school steeped in tradition and synonymous with academic and extra-curricular excellence. This is an exciting time; I am privileged to be leading the school as it continues its journey of growth and development.   

“With our enthusiastic, highly skilled and dedicated staff, supportive parents/carers and distinctive ethos, we strive to offer an ambitious and bespoke educational experience that expands beyond the classroom and prepares our Young Edwardian’s for the future.  

“It was a fantastic occasion for all involved as the school continues to ‘Inspire, Challenge and Support through Faith.’” 

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