CRA Newsletter - 15.01.2021 Half Term 3 - January 15th 2021

Principal's Update

Attendance and commitment to online lessons this week has been fantastic. 92% of our cohort have attended their online lessons. We are working with the Trust to provide devices for the 5% who still do not have access to a device and hope to get this sorted as soon as possible. In the interim students should be completing the lockdown curriculum booklets that they received from school.

Well done to students for their resilience in coping with the change to lessons and their commitment to being involved. Thank you to parents for the support you are giving your children with messages to persevere, to aim high, to ask the teacher if they don’t understand and providing a suitable environment for them to work in.

We will be in touch with year 11 students regarding the recent developments about mini exams once we have greater clarity on what will be required. Attendance at all lessons and intervention sessions (on Monday and Tuesday) is paramount if students are to perform well in the assessment that Ofqual put in place to contribute to the centre assessed grades. It is crucial that students stay focused and communicate with staff if they do not understand something.

Once again Mr Webb has been working hard to inspire us with his House competitions and I know from parental comments received, that involvement with the House system alleviated some of the frustrations or boredom that many students experienced in the last national lockdown. I would encourage you all to get involved again.

Finally, we have received notification from the Trust that a communication to all those entitled to Free School Meals will be issued on Monday. At this time the final details are being collated, so please don't contact the academy directly.

I hope you have a good weekend,

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

All the staff have been so impressed over the past week with the levels of engagement we have seen from our students. We are monitoring attendance to all live lessons and we have seen high numbers of motivated students logging on to their daily assembly and all their lessons throughout their day exhibiting real resilience. The students who have been nominated as remote learning stars have all shown courage and ambition in their lessons, making sure they are active participants in their own learning and subsequent progress. This is fantastic to see and we hope to see even higher engagement next week.

Careers' Corner

Year 11 Career Interviews with Qualified Careers Advisor

If you are in year 11 at Charles Read then you will be contacted via Teams invite for you to have a career talk with a qualified careers advisor. These interviews will begin on Monday 18th January and will take place over the next three weeks. Your appointment will be emailed to you from the School office. Please ensure that you are waiting 5 minutes prior to your interview starting in the Teams meeting so that your appointment can begin on time. You will have personalised feedback following the interview. Parental permission is required for these to go ahead, so please ensure that you have completed the google form which was sent out earlier this week. These should be a fabulous opportunity for all involved.


Please see the article below to provide useful information about apprenticeships- register and log in to ask questions about what it is like to become an apprentice, and hear from employers about what they are looking for when selecting their new recruits.

From 11:10am on Tuesday 9th February 2021, we’ll bring you the faces and voices of real apprentices and real employers, who will spill the beans about what it’s like to be an apprentice and also how apprentices are recruited.

We’re inviting all students, teachers and parents/carers from across the country to join our interactive live broadcast from their home or from the classroom, to learn the facts about apprenticeships, myth bust the fiction and most importantly get your questions answered.

There's never been a more important time to discuss career options available to young people! It only takes one minute to sign up and it’s completely free to watch and interact. Make sure you follow us on Twitter @BigAssembly as we’ll be announcing who’s joining our panel over the next few weeks.

The Big Assembly is a free interactive online broadcast that allows students, teachers and parents/carers to learn about apprenticeships and career options. We'll introduce you to inspiring apprentices and employers and give you the opportunity to ask questions and get involved through our online chat facility.

Riseholme College - Open Event - February 9th

Subject Zoom presentations at 6pm for the February 9th event and live chat to staff throughout the event and much more for you to explore and discover. Why not take a 3D tour of the campus or watch videos from our academic staff. Click on the button below to register your place.

A copy of the prospectus can be found here.

Greater Lincolnshire Online Jobs Fair, Monday 25th January 2021

The next Online Jobs Fair will take place on Monday 25th January 2021, 10am-1pm. It will be hosted by Victoria Atkins MP who is delivering the welcome talk. 

For support and advice, please take a look at the website or contact jobsfair@lincolnshire.gov.uk if you require help setting up a virtual stand.

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 English’.

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

Watch this space for future updates concerning careers or visit the CRA website Careers Support pages.

Mrs Rees - Careers Lead

Attendance Update

We have been really proud of the lesson attendance seen by our students in their remote lessons. Every lesson we are monitoring attendance and where students appear to have not joined their lessons, we are making phone calls to see what we can do to support and increase engagement. Please remember if your child is in Year 11, on a Monday and Tuesday their intervention groups are running period 6 and they should make sure they are in these groups in order to take full advantage of their time with their teachers building their knowledge.

Vulnerable children and young people DfE guidance

The definition of vulnerable children and young people includes children who have a social worker, an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or who may be vulnerable for another reason at local discretion (“otherwise vulnerable”). Schools are expected to allow and strongly encourage vulnerable children and young people to attend. Parents/carers of vulnerable children and young people are strongly encouraged to take up the place.

During the period of national lockdown schools remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers.

  • All other pupils should receive remote education.
  • Pupils who are self-isolating should not attend school.
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils are also advised not to attend school.

Schools should continue to record attendance in the register. Schools should follow up on absences of the pupils who are expected to be in school but where a parent wishes for their child to be absent, we expect schools to authorise the absence during this national lockdown period. If the parent of a vulnerable child wishes their child to be absent, the parent should let the school know. The Department of Education expects schools to grant applications for leave of absence given the exceptional circumstances. This should be recorded as code C (leave of absence authorised by the school).

If your child is attending school, please follow the usual reporting an absence procedure even during a national lockdown as we must correctly code the registers. For example, if your child has a medical appointment, they are attending during the school day, please let school know so we can authorise this as Medical on the register. If your child is poorly and cannot attend school, please let us know so we can code this as Illness on the register. You must inform school immediately if anyone in the household has any Covid-19 symptoms.


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.

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

Live Lessons and Online Learning

Lockdown Timetable

Please visit the CRA Website to review the current Lockdown Timetable for each year group by clicking on the link below.

Students are following an amended timetable. If there are any changes this link will be updated.

Lockdown Curriculum Map

Please visit the CRA Website to review the current Lockdown Curriculum Map. These links provide booklets and work for any student unable to access Teams live lessons. Many of them also support the work covered in their live lessons.

Student Portal - Lesson Plans

Please ensure students check their Student Portal in the "Lesson Plans" section for any work their teachers set on a daily basis.

Free RWI Phonics Lessons at Home

From Tuesday 5th January 2021, we will restart our free Read Write Inc. Phonics lessons on YouTube for children to watch at home.

One lesson at each level will show at 9.30 am each day and be available for 24 hours. Please follow the links below to access the resources:

Speed Agility Quickness Sessions

DRET are very kindly putting on some SAQ (speed agility quickness) sessions for students to take part in. The sessions are free and are being led by Harry White, an SAQ specialist. You can take part indoors or outdoors and will not require any specialist equipment.

The sessions all start at 4pm and will take place on the following days:

  • 12th January – Move to Improve
  • 19th January – Fast Feet
  • 26th January – Accumulation Circuit
  • 2nd February – Explosive Reactions
  • 9th February Random Reactions

This is a brilliant opportunity for you to take part in. Please follow this link to register if you wish to attend the sessions. You will then be sent a Microsoft Teams link.

Accessing Google Classroom on Consoles

Teams Display Picture Conduct

Please can all students make sure that the photos they have on their profile pictures which are displayed on Team meeting calls are appropriate.

Our KS3 English Curriculum: English Mastery

Being a confident and articulate English student involves a large number of complicated skills. We are convinced that the best way to create these sorts of learners is by introducing them systematically to the wonders of grammar, vocabulary and reading for pleasure, alongside the traditional literature teaching that we all know and love. Explicit teaching of the basics of the English language enriches a student’s ability to understand the literature they read and to communicate effectively both in writing and speech.

English Mastery is a knowledge-based Key Stage 3 curriculum where four pedagogical pillars combine to drive pupil progress. Each pillar is rooted in the latest cognitive and educational research:

  • A cumulative, knowledge-rich curriculum develops students' ability in English.
  • Discrete grammar teaching improves precision and accuracy in students' writing.
  • Systematic instruction of tier 2 vocabulary closes the word and attainment gap.
  • Using standardised student work improves accuracy in assessment.

As a result, our Key Stage 3 English curriculum consists of three distinct elements:

The first, Literacy Heritage, introduces pupils to canonical texts and modern classics, explicitly teaching pupils knowledge about the subject of English, the world, history, culture and heritage.

These Literary Heritage units are the core of our curriculum. Classic texts have been selected to introduce students to some of the best characters and most iconic stories in literature, as well as learning the cultural capital that will enrich their reading of similar books. As part of their LH study, students consider whether Bill Sikes is an archetypal Victorian villain, examine the events of the Russian Revolution that inspired Orwell to compose Animal Farm, and study A. C. Bradley’s lectures on tragedy to explore how Juliet’s hamartia leads to her infamous demise.

The second element, Mastery Writing, teaches pupils grammatical concepts and rules in a logical and cumulative sequence. As well as key works of canonical literature, students learn the rules of grammar – gradually, rigorously and explicitly. One of our guiding principles – and one of the key tenets of mastery learning – is that all students can achieve and make progress. This means that the Mastery Writing lessons can look deceptively simple, because students repeat fundamental grammar skills to the point, not just that they can get them right, but to the point that those skills are so embedded the student can no longer get it wrong.

Mastery Writing lessons follow an interleaved structure and pupils deliberately over-practise fundamental concepts to the point of mastery. Evidence shows that pupils make more progress when they have been equipped to master a subject. They do this by understanding its fundamental concepts in sufficient depth that they can apply subject knowledge in unfamiliar contexts.

The third element, Reading for Pleasure, introduces pupils to shared reading of contemporary texts, and uses this activity as an opportunity to explicitly teach vocabulary. This strand is designed to give pupils the opportunity to spend extended periods of time reading, and to learn to enjoy reading great books.

When all these elements combine, students become Masters of the English language – true subject experts who aren’t plagued by the minor errors that so often hold students back and who can confidently approach the core issues at the heart of the English Literary canon.

House News

House Lockdown Cup

Wow. What a fantastic start to the Lockdown Cup at Charles Read Academy. Just under one week into the competition and CRA have already covered over 750km.

The Lockdown Cup launched on Saturday 9th January and will run throughout the duration of lockdown, until all year groups return to school. So far we have received entries from 50 participants at CRA and over 400 have taken part across the trust. With an increase in the number of people that are getting involved in this competition, we are encouraging as many CRA staff and students as possible to take part so we can build on our excellent start.

It is really simple to get involved. Whether you go for a walk, run or go cycling between now and the return to school please email your distance, supported with a screenshot. You can enter as many times as you like (once per day) throughout the whole of lockdown. Here are some examples of how you could play your part:

  • Taking the dogs for a walk
  • Walking to the shops
  • Going for a jog or run
  • Going for a bike ride

Log your activity using an app (for example Strava which is free to record and share activity). You can mark your screenshots by covering locations and road names. We will not share any information that reveals locations by covering up location and road names.

Aqua are currently in the lead, however both Caeli and Terra have made up some ground and are quickly closing the gap (house distances covered are shown in the image)

Make sure you email both dretsport@dret.co.uk and housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk with a screenshot, the academy and your name to enter.

Weekly Family House Quiz – ‘Cities in 2021’

Round 2 of the weekly house quiz took place this week with another picture board round. There were 22 cities to identify from pictures of new years celebrations. Results will be revealed on Monday during whole school assembly before being sent home via MCAS alongside details of a latest house competitions. This weeks quiz was really tough which saw only one entry correctly identify all of the answers.

There will be a new quiz for you to get involved in every Wednesday throughout lockdown. Keep an eye out for next week’s topic.

House Lockdown 2.0

Throughout Lockdown CRA promise to deliver weekly house competitions, including a new house quiz every week.

To enter competitions you will need to submit your entries via the house championship email – housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk or alternative via a direct message on the house twitter or Instagram platforms - @CRA_HouseChamp

Bonus points will be on offer for the highest house participation during each competition, so we really encourage you to take part and earn those extra points for your house.

Details of each competition will be sent out via MCAS in the first instance followed by our social media platforms. Make sure you are checking your messages to ensure you do not miss out on any of the competitions.

Mr Webb - Games Master

Hegarty Maths

It’s the start of a new year and it’s at this time, we sometime make a new year resolution on things that we want to improve on for the year ahead.

It is with this in mind that we are setting the students at CRA a challenge to ensure that they are completing their Hegarty tasks to the high standards we require in the maths department. SO for the year ahead we want students to be doing the following when they are completing their Hegarty Tasks:

  • Watch the video all the way through before attempting the questions and making notes on some of the examples.
  • Use your orange exercise books for working out the answers to the questions. Making sure you are setting all your work out as you would do in class.
  • If you don’t get green go back and reattempt the questions making sure you are watching the video again to help.
  • If you are really struggling with the work being set, ask your class teacher for help before the homework deadline.

Remember that Hegarty Maths is an important tool that we use to make sure your learning becomes permanent and help you become confident and competent mathematicians.


The task of memorising everything for every one of their exams can seem pretty daunting for students. But cognitive science has come to the rescue and we now know what the most effective way to train the memory is!

Especially as students go from lesson to lesson mastering new skills at an incredibly high rate; five hours every day, learning brand new things! It's amazing what students can do after just a few minutes of instruction.

But it must be so frustrating for them when they get into their exams and they just can't remember how to solve that problem that they could do easily in the classroom when they learned it.

To answer the questions in exams students need to be able to bring factual information back into their working memory and use it to solve problems. And we know that working memory is pretty limited, we've only got room for between about 4 and 7 facts in our mind at any one time!

But we know also that the long-term memory seems to have no limit to how much it can store, and retrieval practice is the best way to get information stored permanently in that long-term memory.

Learning means coding new information, accurately, into the long-term memory. Tassomai is built to use the best technique to do this: retrieval practice. You see every single time you try to retrieve a fact, even if you don't get it right the first time, you code that bit of information deeper and deeper into your long term memory. And once you've mastered that piece of information, you'll never forget it. Importantly you'll be able to effortlessly and accurately retrieve it under pressure in the exam.

This is why we continually push students to engage with Tassomai as part of their homework. Unfortunately we have seen a dramatic drop in usage over the past few weeks. We now have 159 students considered to be inactive - this is when a student has not completed any daily goals in the previous 7 days. We still expect students to be completing 4 daily goals a week and will continue to monitor this on a Thursday after school in science. Please remember you can sign up to have weekly emails from Tassomai detailing the usage of your young person for the previous 7 days.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Table Talk

Michelle Obama , former First Lady of the United States, American attorney and author, served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating.

This quote inspires people to have ambition and aspirations for their futures, knowing that hard work is at the centre of achieving your dreams. We invite you to take time over the weekend to talk as a family about what everyones' aspirations are for their futures and what they need to do to get there.

Word of the Week

Pod, ped: foot (Greek word root)

Bipedal (of an animal) using only two legs for walking.

Podiatrist a person who treats the feet and their ailments; a chiropodist.

Pedestrian a person walking rather than travelling in a vehicle, or lacking inspiration or excitement; dull.

Week commencing 18th January

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 18th January - 9 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 18th January during period 2

Year 11 Focus

I am so pleased to see the commitment year 11s have towards their lessons, and the effort and commitment they are showing when logging on. In this time of uncertainty, it is difficult to stay on focus but the attendance of the majority of our year 11s is exceptional.

The latest update we have on GCSE results in the summer is that they will be "centre assessments" but reports from the Education Secretary and OFQUAL (the qualifications watchdog) is that these centre assessments should be based on "externally set assessments". This means that they are likely to provide GCSE mini-exams that will have to be sat by students, marked and moderated to check all the grading for students. This is still under consolation, but after the issues in the news last year they will not be using an algorithm to decide students grades but do want to guarantee that accuracy in some way.

Because the content of these "externally set assessments" has not been released, it is vital that students attend all lessons and cover all the work. It is likely that one of the measures they will look at is the attendance of students, to make sure that teachers are not giving high grades to students who have no covered the content.

I want to repeat how pleased and proud I am of the hard work and commitment our year 11s are demonstrating; of the CRA values they are exhibiting, particularly aspiration and ambition, wanting to achieve good grades and go on to good courses, as well as resilience and confidence, having the courage to ask for help when they need it and finally respect for themselves, aiming to be the best version of themselves.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

Thank you for supporting your child in their online live lessons this term. We want to ensure that we are not just supporting the students in their academic success but also promoting their health too and so we have included this poster which highlights the advantages for anyone of making sure they take part in regular exercise.

Maintaining a healthy body and healthy mind are so important to everyone's mental wellbeing so please take the time to have that discussion with your child about what they are going to do in their breaks and after class to remain active.

There are weekly fitness sessions run live and on YouTube by DRET that do not need any space to complete and the current Lockdown Cup encouraging students and families to join in recording their walks/runs/rides to rack up the kilometres for CRA but also for their House. They can keep their mind active too by taking part in our weekly House competition quiz, which you can all engage in as a family.

Lockdown Opportunities

Ball Mastery

We have another really exciting opportunity coming up, provided by DRET, that starts on the 16th January and runs every Saturday until 13th February. The sessions will be based around ball mastery and will be led by legend Dan Magness. The sessions are free to attend, will be done via Microsoft Teams and all you'll need is a football and some space.

To sign-up for these sessions you will need to follow the link

DRET Lockdown Cup

We’re delighted to announce the first ever (and hopefully last) DRET Lockdown Cup, for all staff and students to take part in throughout lockdown (primary and secondary).

The Cup will be awarded to the school which covers the highest number of kilometres during the lockdown by cycling, walking or running, and also and award for the highest average Km’s covered per person (based on school role and staff numbers).

Medals will be awarded to the highest individuals each month and we’ll also give the winning school an Under Armour team strip for a school Rugby, Hockey, Netball or Football team.

Scores can start being submitted from this Saturday (9th January) and all the rules and details are below - please email your submissions to both dretsport@dret.co.uk & housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk

Please use the #DRETLockdownCup on social media.

Dates for your diary

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


Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • RochasBrasil - "stone rocks rock" • geralt - "business idea planning business plan" • MichaelGaida - "machine clock time" • geralt - "learn student laptop" • geralt - "power knowledge board" • 777546 - "accounting report credit card" • 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"