CRA Newsletter AutumN Term 1 September 7th 2020

Principal's Update

Welcome to the start of the new academic year. I do hope that you had the opportunity for some relaxing family time during the summer break. It has been a challenging time for everyone and our priority going forward is to:

  • protect students and staff,
  • protect the curriculum, so that we can continue to follow government guidance and deliver a broad and balanced offer,
  • protect the teaching and learning and
  • bring some normality to student lives, by continuing with one lunch, one break and some socially distanced house activities, that were so key in keeping a sense of belonging during lockdown.

Students and staff worked very hard last year and the results reflect that. The progress our Yr 11 students (class of 2020) made over the last 18 months has been incredible and if the performance tables were operating this year, the results would be classified as ‘above average’. We are very fortunate to have a very talented and committed staff who want the best for our students, and students who aspire to succeed at all levels.

I felt very proud on Friday morning walking the academy as the students were focused, engaged and looked very smart.

It is very important that we work together to ensure that we can provide the best support and guidance for your children. In response to parent voice, we are producing a weekly newsletter, which will keep you up to date with news and events that are happening in the academy.

In addition, please follow our Twitter feed, @Charles_Read if you haven’t already and make sure you have downloaded the MCAS app as all reports and important communications use this system. There are help guides available on the website and academy staff can support you with any queries you have regarding this.

We are looking forward to sharing the new enrichment programme with the students and pleased to have some additional time to be able to build on the knowledge of our new Year 11 cohort and help them close any gaps in their learning. Year 11 parents, I hope you have seen the letter regarding the Virtual Study Skills evening on the 9th September, if not there is a copy on the website.

Charles Read Academy is an amazing place to work, we are proud of our community and excited that we have a culture that celebrates creativity, high aspiration and ambition.

I look forward to sharing news of our students’ development this year through Twitter, the website, the newsletter and in person when COVID restrictions allow.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

This year our trophy cabinet has some new additions in the form of our CRA values trophies. Our values are something that run through everything that we do at CRA and this year we are going to be rewarding our students in our house assemblies for demonstrating these values as well as presenting 6 students at the end of each academic year with our prestigious CRA values trophies. Each week we will be focusing on one value in particular with next week being all about resilience.

Curriculum Update

We are proud that CRA learners demonstrate these learning traits on a daily basis.

Career's Corner

At CRA, we are very excitied to announce that we have recently launched Unifrog, which is an excellent careers IT platform.

We are introducing it to the whole school - which may take a little time, but every child and parent / carer will be issued with a log in shortly.

Unifrog provides all available careers information into one single, impartial, user-friendly platform that helps students to make the best careers choices, and submit the strongest applications.

It will track every students careers activity undertaken and progress. Unifrog will help every student find their future in post 16 course options and the World of Work.

The careers team will regularly keep in touch with any Careers or Unifrog information, progress and updates - so watch this space.

For further information about how we assist our pupils in terms of their goals and objectives towards their potential careers, please visit the CRA website Carers Support pages.

Attendance Update

Please review the updated attendance letter that is available on the website.

At Charles Read Academy, we place a high focus on attendance and, as such, have an expectation that all students will strive to exceed our academy target of 96%.

We encourage good attendance and punctuality in the following way:

• Certificates awarded to children with improved punctuality/attendance

• Competitions between tutor groups and between houses to have the best attendance through our Houseopoly boards.

• Attendance figures being communicated through weekly whole school assemblies.

• Weekly communication through MCAS congratulating parents and students on their individual and/or form group attendance success.

• Parents are regularly reminded in newsletters and school meetings about the importance of good attendance and its links to attainment.

We recognise good attendance and punctuality in the following way:

• Awarding 100% by a raffle for a free lunch for KS3 and KS4 weekly

• 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.

House News

Aqua House raced into an early lead as Staff took part in the first House Competition of the year at Charles Read Academy this week. Working in small teams, within their houses, staff were provided with 9 Marshmallows, 20 pieces of spaghetti and a strip of sellotape and were tasked to construct the highest free standing tower they could in 10 minutes. Collectively the staff teams managed to build 9 free standing towers but it was the 52cm tall 'Tower of Ambition', constructed by Miss King, Mr Hassall and Mrs Copper that towered over the rest and clinched 30 House Points for Aqua. Caeli finished in 2nd place and Terra finished in 3rd.

Aqua House Staff - The Winning Team

The year 7 students did not have to wait long for their very own house competition, the 'Transition Taskmaster' challenge which launched on Thursday this week. The year 7s have all been provided with a taskmaster booklet consisting of 8 tasks and targets to complete before the end of term. This is an excellent introduction to the house championship and a great opportunity for the new students to play their part for their house team and earn some early points. Each completed booklet will earn students 5 house points in addition to the overall points awarded to the top 3 positions for this competition.

Taskmaster Booklets

Term one house competitions get underway soon with plenty of opportunities to get involved as Limbo, Harvest festival, Football, The Chase and Portrait Artist all taking place before half term. Details of how to get involved in all the competitions will follow. Speak to the Games Master of your Head of House for more information.

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

Staff Spot

Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to the newest members of the team here at CRA. This week its the turn of Mrs Cooper our new Head of Humanities

I have been teaching for 10 years within the counties of Lincolnshire and Leicestershire although I am originally from Devon. I have always taught 11-16 and examined GCSE Geography. I have also taught 16-18. My specialist subject area is Geography but I have taught a range of humanity subjects over the years.

During my early career I enjoyed roles such as Student Council Coordinator and Duke of Edinburgh Assessor which complemented my teaching and in the latter years I have focused on curriculum delivery within humanities- Head of Department and Trust Wide Lead.

I have always loved school and have tried to take full advantage of the amazing opportunities that were provided such as performing at the Royal Albert Hall, playing rugby for my county and Chairing the Youth Council for my District. However academically, achievement never came easy and I have always had to work hard to achieve good marks and grades.

These days my hobbies and interests are centered around my family including my two young boys. Weekend baking, cycling and camping in the summer months. I am a keen runner and am often training for a local half marathon.

I am very much looking forward to continuing my career at Charles Read Academy and I look forward to meeting you all over time.

Mrs Cooper - Head of Humanities (Geography, History, PSHE, Religious Education, Travel & Tourism)

Subject Updates/Letters

Food Technology

Please visit the website to read this letter regarding Food Technology for the coming year from Mrs Rees


Instrumental and vocal music lessons will be offered by Lincolnshire Music service. If your son or daughter is interested in learning a musical instrument, please click on this link for more information. Lessons can happen one to one in school and we will be following DfE guidance in relation to this with 2 metre distancing and good ventilation. In addition, there will be a plexiglass screen and these are designed to be put up in teaching rooms or extra-curricular groups as a further protection measure. Lessons are likely to begin in the last week of September and we will keep you informed.

Table Talk

Our topic this week is linked to our CRA value of ambition. We are asking all our students to think about their futures and what they want to do and how they are going to achieve that goal. We thought an interesting statement to discuss over dinner would be the following quote.

"Success is defined by making money"

Word of the Week

Anti: against, opposite (Greek word root)

Antiseptic preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.

Antibiotic a medicine (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms.

Antisocial not sociable or wanting the company of others.

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 September 7th 9 times table

Accelerated Reader

The library has been set up with all our new books classified by their "Z" level. The 'Z' level refers to the difficulty of the text and ensures that the student is reading something that is not too challenging or too easy to enable appropriate progress. We will retest all students over the next few weeks so they know their appropriate "Z" level and can make sure they have the correct book for their reading ability. In addition we have additional tablets for completing the accelerated reader quizzes so we can help all our to gain a love of reading and use it to improve their learning.

Week commencing September 7th during Period 1

Year 11 Focus

Next Wednesday at 7:00pm we are holding a Virtual Study Skills evening, where we will inform parents how we will support students towards their year 11 exams.

If your child is in year 11 and you wish to attend this meeting a letter has been sent home and you should contact enquiries@charlesreadacademy.co.uk to obtain the link for this meeting.

All year 11 students have also been allocated to two enrichment groups, one on Monday and one on Tuesday. These are focused on the EBacc subjects this term to allow them to build upon and revisit subject knowledge from the last six months, and is part of our plans to enable them to achieve the great results we know they are capable of despite the hardships of 2020.

Teen Support

Mr Hassall and Mrs Coleman, and all of the Pastoral Team here at Charles Read Academy are really happy to see everyone back in school and lots of smiling faces.

We know that it has been a very difficult time for every member of the school community and their families over recent months but we feel that we are taking a big first step towards normality.

We do also know that the return to school, or transition into year 7 will not be the same for everybody.

Having previously mentioned lots of smiling faces we did see some anxiety and a few tears as well, in the first couple of days. That is why we wanted to remind you that we are here to help, to listen and to signpost to resources that can also help.

I would like to remind all students of Kooth- the online mental wellbeing community. Have a look at the website kooth.com where there are sorts of resources like videos, magazines, discussion boards and a chat facility.

Lastly I would also like to tell you about an App called Wysa that was recommended by one of our students during lockdown. Although you need to be careful of the cost of premium services, our student did say that they had found it very helpful. The blurb about the app says “helps you stay emotionally healthy with mood tracking, finding optimism, reframing thoughts.....to help you reduce sadness”. But never mind the blurb its personally recommended by one of our own. Check it out!

Finally, all of the staff are here to help you as we all take those steps towards normality. Team CRA.

The Sporting Post

We have a new PE department this year which includes Mr Lovatt, who is the Head of the Performance Faculty, Mr Webb, our Games Master, Mr Addlesee and Miss Dickson our SEOs and Miss Elsby our Dance and Drama teacher. Miss Dickson will be teaching girls PE. Miss Elsby will be leading the Dance department.

Dates for your diary

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

Highlights next week include:

  • Monday September 7th - GamesMaster Transition Challenge
  • Tuesday September 8th - individual school photos
  • Wednesday September 9th - Year 11 Virtual Study Skills evening


Created with images by Trung Pham Quoc - "untitled image" • Sean Stratton - "My trip up and down the Great Smoky Mountains." • Allie - "Rainbow row of Sharpies markers neatly stacked" • Nikita Kachanovsky - "On my eames" • Markus Winkler - "Update" • Science in HD - "Cleantech Research Center at NREL. NREL scientists Michael Crowley and Antti-Pekka Hynninen have developed algorithms that speed calculations done by the software tool CHARMM by several orders of magnitude, using code such as the one pictured. Using NREL's new petascale supercomputer housed in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, they can simulate the motions of thousands of atoms, leading to greater understanding of how molecular models work." • Charles Deluvio - "Office meeting" • Jelleke Vanooteghem - "Urban Art" • Angelina Litvin - "Pencil shavings on a notebook" • Antonio Gabola - "Work and play" • Shane Rounce - "Team building at RGB Parkour Tour back in 2014." • Lysander Yuen - "untitled image" • Anne Nygård - "untitled image"