Rayner Stephens High School new library opened by The Civic Mayor

24 November 2023

Rayner Stephens High School is a highly inclusive school in the heart of Dukinfield. Part of Stamford Park Trust, they share the belief that young people of Tameside should have access to the best education to inform their future and improve their life chances.


That’s why the school are very proud to unveil their brand-new library, a great resource which students are benefiting from every single day. Reading is a life-long skill and is important for the whole curriculum.


The previous library was deemed unfit for purpose, a small space with only a handful of books. However, thanks to investment across the Trust, this new and bright space gives students the perfect space to read and learn, with new books flooding in every term to support students’ learning and develop their love of reading.


The library was opened officially by The Civic Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Tafheen Sharif on Friday 24th November. Madam Mayor first gave students an insight of her journey into politics and the importance of being a woman of colour in her important position. A stark reminder to students about how important aspiration and resilience is when faced with challenges, two of the school's values. Students asked some great questions about her journey and current role, including how she keeps focused and what motivates her.


This was followed by a tour of the library and a poem read by Rayner’s poet laureates Freddie and Amelia, before Madam Mayor officially cut the ribbon to open the library with a word about the importance of reading.


Ensuring that every student is fluent and confident in reading is a key priority that Rayner Stephens prides itself on. As identified by the Quality Inclusion Mark, the school’s Literacy Co-Ordinator has created and embedded a comprehensive, well-thought-out whole-school literacy programme in conjunction with educational researchers at University College London.


The programme ensures no student is left behind, meticulously identifying pupils who have gaps in their reading knowledge and ensures effective support is put into place for pupils who struggle to read. The focus on ensuring all pupils become confident and fluent readers quickly, was praised in their recent Ofsted inspection.


Head of School Martin Davies said “We are committed to promoting reading and literacy at Rayner Stephens and we really wanted a library that matched our ambitions for all our children. This new library can now offer pupils a fabulous opportunity to just come and read and to take books home. So much hard work has gone into this redesign and rebuild and to see it come to fruition, and the brilliant resource we now have, really does make all the effort worthwhile.”


Stamford Park Trust CEO Anton McGrath added “It was an honour to invite the Mayor to open our refurbished library at Rayner Stephens High School today. Stamford Park Trust is committed to investing in our academies in order to ensure that each student has the most up-to-date facilities to help them achieve. Supporting strong literacy skills and the development of a lifelong love of reading are essential components of a good education. This new library space will allow the school to continue its good work in these areas."


Rayner Stephens High School joined Stamford Park Trust in 2021 along with Longdendale High School and Ashton Sixth Form College. Stamford Park Trust, in collaboration with Tameside Council, is investing over £1.5 million to ensure students at Rayner Stephens have access the best facilities and we can deliver an outstanding quality of education to all students in the Trust.

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