CRA Newsletter - 11.12.20 AutumN Term 2 - December 11th 2020

Principal's Update

We had our first virtual parents’ evening last night which seemed to go very well. I am very keen to hear parental feedback on the event and any suggestions for improvements. We will send out a feedback survey to all the year 7 parents who attended to help us inform future virtual events. Unfortunately we had some staff illness, (not COVID related) and those members of staff will facilitate phone calls or Team meetings once they return to work.

We have a number of exciting events to look forward to next week including, ‘A Christmas Carol’ live theatre production, the KS3 and KS4 Christmas parties, the Santa run and the Awards assembly.

There has been a lovely atmosphere in the academy this week. We work hard on our ethos and culture, promoting our values in all we do and the students have been very polite have been demonstrating our values on a very regular basis. We have had an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ focus where students have written positive messages to the staff. This is a lovely event and helps staff to know that their actions have made a difference to someone.

I hope your preparations for the festive holiday are going well and that you have a relaxing weekend.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

Our Character assembly next week is about one of the 7 C's of Resilience - Contribution. In whole school assembly we will be discussing what charities we will be supporting this academic year. We have already collected an amazing amount of food and toiletries (in house colour no less!) for our local Grantham foodbank for Harvest Festival and next week we have our Christmas Party which includes a £1 donation for Save the Children. In our Character assemblies we will be exploring contribution further and talking about why contributing to society helps us grow as individuals.

Uniform Updates

We are working really hard to ensure that our high standards of uniform are maintained right to the end of term. We have seen an increase just lately of students wearing trainers to school.

As you are aware, we greet all our students at the gate every morning and any uniform violations are picked up straight away. From Monday, any students wearing trainers will be sent to the boot room. If there is no medical reason as to why they are in trainers, they will be in IE (internal exclusion).

We will contact you as parents to discuss the issue. Please ensure that your child is wearing the correct uniform when they leave for school. A copy of the Uniform Policy can be found here.

On Tuesday and Wednesday next week, we have our Christmas Party. Students who have purchased tickets are invited to wear a Christmas jumper over the top of their shirt and tie. They can wear their blazer over the top of their jumper to come to school in. Normal trousers, shoes etc should be worn.

Miss King - Assistant Principal

PE Kit

As the weather has turned colder I felt this was a good time to readdress school uniform and specifically the PE kit. Whilst many students have purchased the new PE kit and they do look incredibly smart there are a number of students who are wearing their own clothes to PE lessons. This is not permitted within the school rules, much like not having your CRA 6 this results in a sanction, in this case a pastoral detention.

Pupils should have the following kit as compulsory items:

  • CRA PE Shorts
  • CRA PE Socks
  • CRA House PE top
  • CRA House Hoodie
  • Trainers/Astroturf trainers or moulded football boots
  • Shin pads/gum shield - as required

Pupils can also use the following additional items:

  • CRA PE Track pants
  • CRA PE Leggings
  • Plain black skins/leggings are allowed to be worn, but must be under navy shorts. No logos/writing/labels

Pupils are NOT allowed to wear their own coats/tracksuit bottoms for PE lessons and must purchase the CRA branded hoodie if they wish to wear something over their House PE Top.

Pupils in receipt of free school meals are entitled to support with the purchasing of PE kit should finances be an issue, please contact the school regarding this.

Please visit the Custom Athletics website to order any new style uniform.

I would ask that all pupils are in correct PE kit from January 2021.

Mr Lovatt - Head of Performance Faculty

Curriculum Update

Work during "Covid Isolation"

If a student is in an enforced period of isolation after coming into contact with someone, or are unable to come in due to having symptoms of their own, they can still access their lessons. The Lockdown Curriculum map is available on the CRA website. The lesson plans module on Student Portal will also show them the current position their classmates are studying on a particular day.

Accessing the Curriculum

In order to make sure our students achieve their potential and consolidate learning from the classroom we need to improve the rate of homework submission.

So that you can continue to support your child with their homework, we kindly ask that you:

  • Check Student Portal on a regular basis with their child.
  • Engage with your child about their homework, take an interest and offer support, where possible.
  • Support your child by testing memory recall and supporting information retrieval.
  • Wherever possible ensure that they have a suitable and quiet place to complete the homework.
  • Raise concerns with their form tutor or subject teacher if you are worried about your child’s homework.
  • Speak to the academy if there is an issue with IT or Student Portal.
  • Request that your son/daughter be assigned to an ‘Academic Prep’ in the event that they need further support.

Homework is important at all stages in your child’s education and when used properly, it extends the challenge open to them and ensures that teaching time is used to maximise effect. It also makes a significant contribution to the development of independent learning.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Enrichment Options - Urgent Response Required

Your children have today been sent a Google form link to their CRA email account to select their enrichment options starting from Monday 4th January 2021.

Please ensure your child completes their options before the start of the school day on Tuesday 15th December 2020 (next week).

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Career's Corner

Careers Ideas

Each week we will show you examples of the various careers linked to the subject you are studying. This week’s career idea is ‘Jobs related to Chemistry’.

Can you help?

At Charles Read Academy we are always looking for new ways to support our young people to make informed choices about their future by encouraging greater collaboration between education and employers.

We would like to develop our database of local/regional links with employers and employees and wondered if any of you may be able to help us with this.

Do you have any contacts with local business or people who could help with things such as:

  • offering work placements or workplace visits
  • support with Mock Interviews or CV guidance
  • delivering assemblies or talks to small groups of interested students
  • attending Careers Fairs

If you think you have a contact be it friends or family who may be able to help, then could you help us to develop a link by:

  • Asking if they are interested – then contacting us via email SLinforth@charlesreadacademy.co.uk
  • Asking them to link with the academy via email or telephone on 01476 550333

Click on BBC bitesize for some useful and practical information about post 16 choices.

Mrs Rees & Mrs Ludlam - Careers

Attendance Update

Covid Positive Cases

Should your child or a member of your family receive a positive Covid result, it is essential that you make the school aware immediately. You can contact us on 01476 550333 in the first instance or by email enquiries@charlesreadacademy.co.uk or on the MCAS app.

If it is outside of normal working hours, please try calling us or send us an email/MCAS message. These messages are monitored outside of hours so we will see them before the start of the following school day.

It is imperative that we are aware of positive results as soon as possible in order that we can alert those who may have come into contact, to avoid students unnecessarily travelling to school if they need to isolate.


Please ensure you have checked and updated your parental consents on My Child at School. There have been some recent updates including the permission to allow us to teach your children remotely via Teams if we are forced to close a bubble of students due to Coronavirus.

We celebrate attendance at Charles Read Academy:

  • By awarding 100% attendance through our attendance raffle for a free lunch for KS3 and KS4 each week.
  • Students with 100% attendance receive 10 reward points weekly.
  • By sending a MCAS message home every week to all 100% attendance students.
  • By awarding individual certificates to individual children who have 100% for each term.
  • By awarding academy certificates to individual children who get 100% attendance for the whole academic year (September to July).
  • Celebrating and rewarding the success of those who have gained the most improved attendance throughout the academic year.

Coronavirus Symptoms

If you are uncertain about what actions to take when it comes to Covid symptoms and whether you should send your child to school, please review the attached letter from Public Health England, and posters below.

Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager

House News

I'm a Teacher, Get Me Out of Here

Nine members of Staff at Charles Read Academy went head to head in their house teams, as they faced a series of ‘Bush Tucker’ style trials to win house points, in the CRA ‘I’m a Teacher Get Me Out of Here’ House Competition. The competition, which is a favourite among students at CRA, required staff to display a great amount of courage and resilience as they took on each of the challenges; Jacobs Cream Critters, The infamous CRA Bush Banquet, the brand new ‘Just a matter of slime’ challenge and the dreaded CRA Shake.

The competition was a huge success, creating a sense of normality for our students who had a blast. The excitement was evident for all to see as students and staff together generated a fantastic atmosphere; chanting house names, cheering on their favourite teachers and really getting involved in what was a truly memorable and thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Plans are already being put together for next year’s competition.

House Christmas Party

We are extremely excited for the house Christmas party which is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. KS4 students will have their party on Tuesday 15th and KS3 students on Wednesday 16th.

Students are able to wear a Christmas Jumper on the day of their Christmas Party as £1 of the cost is being donated to Save The Children charity. Christmas Dinner is different this year as students will not be tucking into the traditional turkey dinner but our very own CCRA Festive Burger consisting of chicken breast, bacon, cheese, stuffing topped with Cranberry (optional) and Gravy (optional) served with curly fries. As students sit down with their year groups there will be a number of party games to take part in with prizes up for grabs.

Tutor Christmas Trees

Tutor Groups have all been issued with tutor group Christmas Trees. Students only have a few days left to collectively come up with a theme and decorate ready to bring to the house Christmas party banquet next week. Christmas trees will be judged with the best decorated tree receiving the lion share of 100 house points.

For regular updates and all the latest house news and action from competitions follow us on Twitter and/or Instagram @CRA_HouseChamp

Mr Webb - Games Master

Chemistry Corner – ‘chemistry of christmas’

Art Department Update

Aqua 9 having great fun preparing for the House Christmas tree competition – being in the art room sure does help with the ‘great idea’!

Mr Parker - Art Teacher

Parental Feedback

We really value your feedback in order for us to make improvements at the Academy, and we hope you can find 5 minutes to complete this survey on communication.

Thank you in advance for your time.


As a school we are continuing in our efforts to ensure all students are engaging with Tassomai, as a department it plays a key role in supporting learning. Other departments have seen the benefit of this and have began using it themselves. We are excited to see what impact using Tassomai will have on our learners, other schools such as The Stonehenge School in Wiltshire have seen spectacular impact on grades, and have been able to go a long way to closing the attainment gap. The deputy headteacher has this to say:

“We introduced Tassomai with a goal to improve our science results from the lowest 20% in the country to being at the national average - in fact we are now in the top 20% in the country!”

Please remember it is not too late to sign up for parental reports.

Miss Robinson - Science Teacher

Table Talk

Linking to our Character assembly theme this week of Contribution, we would love you to make some time this weekend to talk about how your family makes positive contributions to society and why it is important to remember that we all have a part to play in being responsible and caring citizens.

Word of the Week

Penta: five (Greek word root)

Pentagram - a five-pointed star that is formed by drawing a continuous line in five straight segments, often used as a mystic and magical symbol.

Pentameter - a line of verse consisting of five metrical feet, or (in Greek and Latin verse) of two halves each of two feet and a long syllable.

Watch this short video that explains how Shakespeare used Iambic Pentameter

Pentagon a plane figure with five straight sides and five angles.

Week commencing 14th December

Times Tables

At the end of all lessons students stand behind their chairs in silence to prepare for themselves for the next lesson. From September, on a weekly rota, Years 7 and 8 will be reciting their timetables to help embed them in their long term memory.

Week commencing 14th December - 12 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 14th December during period 4

Library Update

Another big box of books arrived in the library this week: this time it was a delivery of classic books to stretch and challenge our many higher-level readers. The first few have already flown off the shelves, and I am looking forward to hearing how the readers got on with them.

Meanwhile, we have been busy making sure that all KS3 students have been quizzing on their Accelerated Reading Scheme books. The quiz results give us valuable data, enabling us to choose the right books to inspire and entertain our readers.

Our students will soon have the chance to earn valuable points for their houses in various book-themed competitions that are coming up - watch this space!

Most of the books that were borrowed before lockdown have now been returned, and there are just a few outstanding. Please have a look in bags and bedrooms - you can recognise our library books by the orange AR stickers on the spine! It would be wonderful to get all our overdue books back in.

Just today, two students (one Year 7 student and one Year 9) told me that they are starting to really enjoy reading. This doesn't surprise me any more - it is a long time since anybody told me that they don't like reading - but it always makes me smile. We really are a reading school.

Mrs Spilberg - Librarian & TA

Year 11 Focus

It's been a long two terms and it's amazing to think how much work the year 11s have put in.

After Christmas we have the Government's national tutoring project giving support to some of our students with expert tutors from university helping some of our students pull up their grades in Maths and English

Next week we have the Globe players performing a virtual performance of a Christmas Carol to show our GCSE students the text and relate it to their GCSE language exam.

It is important for year 11 students to relax and recover over the Christmas break, both physically and emotionally. The last 14 weeks have been difficult and it is important that they take this time to regather their mental, physical and emotional energy for the Spring Term.

The second week back after Christmas is the Touchstone exams, where they will redo a paper that the cohort performed badly on last term. They don't need to revise for all the topics and instead their teachers will have told them what they are studying and work will have happened in class and interventions.

The mock exam timetable is being finalised and will be issued and communicated next week.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

Managing Tech: We hope you have had an opportunity to log in to National Online Safety, as featured in last week's newsletter...follow this link to create an account and be in with a chance to win £50 Amazon voucher.

We know over the Christmas period students will be accessing their social media and be on the internet more than during the school term so below is some handy advice to share with your child/children no matter what their age:

  1. Turn off notifications: Notifications are a great way of delivering real-time information but can be distracting. Take a break from the flashing and buzzing and switch off app notifications
  2. Be aware of what apps/sites you are accessing. Make sure you know who you are communicating with and do not give any personal information or share photos you wouldn't want your Grandma to see!
  3. Don't sleep with devices: For a good night's sleep try not to sleep with your devices in your bedroom and limit their use on the run up to bedtime.
  4. Know your body: If your eyes feel strained or you're getting a headache, this could be a sign to cut back on screen time.
  5. Have a Christmas digital detox: If you feel like you need a break from looking at everyone else's trees, presents and dinners, whether for a few hours, days or even a week - take the opportunity to enjoy some tech free time and re-connect with your family.

Dates for your diary

Please click on the parent calendar to see the full list of upcoming events and activities at CRA

Highlights at the start of next term include:

  • Live performance of A Christmas Carol - Tuesday 15th December
  • Christmas Party: KS4 - Tuesday 15th December.
  • Christmas Party: KS3 - Wedensday 16th December
  • Santa run - Wednesday 16th December


Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • RochasBrasil - "stone rocks rock" • Hope House Press - Leather Diary Studio - "notebooks-cambridge" • sasint - "achieve woman girl" • geralt - "business idea planning business plan" • MichaelGaida - "machine clock time" • guvo59 - "christmas deco ball" • athree23 - "feedback checklist job" • Trung Thanh - "The Moment" • Patrick Tomasso - "untitled image" • John Moeses Bauan - "Enlightening Math" • Philippe Bout - "musician checking music sheet before Concert" • Helena Lopes - "Saturday. Summer. Beautiful sunny day, so my friends and I decided to make a picnic and watch the sundown. Pretty fun and relaxed day." • Anne Nygård - "untitled image"