CRA Newsletter - 29.01.2021 Half Term 3 - January 29th 2021

Principal's Update

I hope you have all had a good week. Thank you for the positive comments that you have been sending in relation to the remote learning and welfare calls. Staff are going the extra mile in challenging circumstances and your kind words have meant a lot to them. Thank you for taking the time to email.

This week we have launched a COVID 19 page on our website so that any updates are easily found. Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see added to it to make the home learning experience as straightforward as possible.

One thing that students in KS3 are missing due to the COVID timetable is their 20 minute accelerated reading time. Therefore, we would like them to take 20 minutes every day to read a book, magazine or newspaper article. There are so many benefits to reading some of which I share below.

Reading not only means that students are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary which they can then use in their own work but offers so much more than just that. Reading offers mental stimulation, it can help reduce stress as you lose yourself in a good story, obviously it supports students to gain knowledge, the more teenagers read, the more information they pick up. This leads to a solid core of knowledge that is useful in a wide variety of classes and reading can help them experience different social circumstances more objectively – helping them see how different characters would deal with different situations and will also help with memory recall. When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. We use analytical thinking if we are trying to decipher a plot or work out “whodunnit”. Reading can help us improve our focus and concentration and you can immerse yourself in all the detail you’re absorbing. Exposure to published, well-written work has a positive effect on one’s own writing, as observing fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence the students’ own work.

We want the students to take every opportunity to tell us about what they are reading, what they liked and disliked; both are equally important to help them find out what genres of books they are interested in. This week's book review house competition gives students the perfect opportunity to share their reading experiences as well as earning some valuable points for their house. One year 7 student told me this morning that she has already started hers and was excited about sharing the details of her book.

Please talk to your child about what they are reading, about how they are finding their online lessons and the work that is being set and feedback any concerns or positives in the weekly welfare calls. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything else we can support you with.

As a community, (the three houses, the students, the staff, the parents and carers), I think that given the circumstances we are all coping well, and we should remember that...

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

This week in whole school assembly we were looking at our moral compass and how we learn right from wrong. We talked about the people and things in our lives that influence our judgement and how we modify our moral compass according to what we learn from others; parents, family members, adult role models, teachers, faith, and the news as well as our own experiences and mistakes we may make. We also talked again about why making mistakes is ok and we shouldn't be afraid to try. Making mistakes helps us build our resilience as progress and shows we have ambition to achieve and learn. It is what we do after making a mistake that is important. The courage to change is what is key and what will help us grow and build our good character.


  • Monday - Whole School Assembly
  • Tuesday - no assembly Year 7-10, Year 11 Assembly (and then fortnightly)
  • Wednesday - House assembly
  • Thursday - no assembly Year 7-11
  • Friday - House assembly

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, tutors will use this additional time to make some of their weekly welfare calls home.

Please do share this schedule with your child(ren) so they are aware of the changes.

Parental Survey - Jan 2021 Lockdown

We would like to gather some feedback regarding the online provision we are currently providing. This will help to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the students, and also give you an opportunity to provide feedback on the provision. Please could you take a couple of minutes to complete the survey here.

School Governors

All schools across the Trust have Academy Scrutiny Committees which are made up of community, staff and parental representatives. Presently Charles Read has vacancies for parent governors. The role and expectations of a Governor can be found here.

The primary role of the Academy Scrutiny Committee is to provide support and challenge to the Principal in ensuring every child makes good or better progress and that the Academy is achieving targets and continually improving. To maximise the ability of the local governors to focus on this key area, the Academy Scrutiny Committee is not required to set strategy or policy, manage financial resources, staff performance and pay, Health and Safety or many of the other areas traditionally associated with a maintained school governing body as these issues are dealt with at Trust level.

If you are interested in one of the roles please review and apply using the procedure document below.

Careers' Corner

National Apprenticeship Week 2021…it’s going to be amazing!

Monday 8th to Sunday 14th February

Whether you are looking for the next step after leaving school, or looking for a career change, National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to find out more about apprenticeships and to participate in some of the free activities that have been prepared for you from a wide variety of organisations. From a Careers Fair hosted by UCAS, to National Skills Days and The BIG Assembly, there is something for everyone. Check out the link below to see how you can get involved.

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.

What Would You Ask An Apprentice?

How much do you get paid…? Do you actually have a job…? Is it true you just make tea…?

Whatever the question, the National Apprenticeship Week 2021 Big Assembly is here to answer it.

From 11:10am on Tuesday 9th February, we’re introducing real apprentices and employers who are excited to answer your questions and spill the beans about apprenticeships.

There’s never been a more important time for students, teachers and parents/carers to discover and explore exciting career options.

We’d love you to join our interactive online broadcast, it only takes one minute to register and it’s completely free!

Make sure you follow us on Twitter @BigAssembly as we’ll be announcing who’s joining our panel over the next few weeks.

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 Health & Social Care".

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

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.

A letter has been posted this week to all parents and carers of students who fall into the Vulnerable criteria with more information regarding attending school during Lockdown.

Recording attendance during Lockdown

DfE guidance states that 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 a student is attending school regularly during Lockdown, if they are absent due to illness this will be coded as I and attending a medical appointment will be coded as M on Student Portal.

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. If you wish for your child to be absent, this will show on their Student Portal as a code C for (leave of absence authorised by the school). 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 and this will be coded on Student Portal as X code.

100% attendance of Live Lessons

The following students have had 100% attendance in their live lessons this week which are showing CRA values of Resilience and Ambition and will receive Resilience reward behaviour points.

Year 7

Ben W, Francesca B, Harrison H, Harry Wh, Jennifer VM, Jessica S, Kelsey C, Kira H, Lily K, Nicholas G, Nicole W, Oliver R, Phoebe KB, Ruby M, Scarlett G, Teya S, Thomas S, Toby N.

Year 8

Coby M, Dominic P, Evan P, Finlay Y, Jake L, Jamie P, Jonas C, Joshua P, Rhys L, Robert T, Ryan K, Samuel S, Sebastian C.

Year 9

Angel G, Bailie B, Billy T, Cody S, Evie B, Fynlay W, George D, Jack Ch, Jack C, Kai P, Kieran P, Mark W, Millie-Mae A, Oscar D-W, Simon K.

Year 10

Aaron J, Adam D, Alex C, Ayrton S, Ben T, Bethany H, Billy-Joe C, Brooklyn A, Courtney M, Ellis CB, Felix E, Harvey C, Jake H, Julian B, Kya W, Lily L, Olly A, Priya P, Rhys W, Riley T, Robert P, Ryan W.

Year 11

Archie M, Connor J, Connor P, Joseph C, Murphy C, Ruby S, Sophie M, Thomas G.

Critical workers

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school if required. Schools can ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip. Please review our previous letter for further details on the information we need.

Please can you let school know if you no longer require a critical worker place in school anymore so that we can offer that place to someone else. Parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.


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

PE & Dance Lessons

We have received some emails regarding PE and Dance lessons with pupils not knowing how to access the content. These are not live lessons via Teams, instead pupils have set work to complete. Please click this video link explaining how to access the remote lessons for PE and Dance (the link will only work when students are logged into their CRA Google account).

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.

New Covid-19 Website Page

Please visit our new Covid 19 page on the website.

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:

  • 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.

Face Masks

When we return to school, please may we ask that all students bring with them a blue or black face mask to be worn.

A few words from CRA's Head Boy & Head Girl

House News

CRA House Bake Off Results

Aqua, Terra and Caeli went head to head last week in the House Bake Off competition. Over 50 entries were submitted for this competition from students across all year groups as well as a number of staff who played their part for their house team. Judging was extremely difficult and after some tough calls the top 3 were as follows:

Ruby - Year 11

Student Top 3

  1. Ruby (Year 11) – Caeli House with her Covid -19 Themed Cake
  2. Jack (Year 9) – Terra House with his ‘Carrot’ Cake
  3. Lucy (Year 10) – Aqua House with her Aqua Blue Whale Cake

Staff Top 3

Swan ‘Terra’ Lake
  1. Mrs Rees (Terra) – With her Swan ‘Terra’ Lake
  2. Mrs Spilberg (Caeli) – ‘Perseverance Conquers’ (Caelis Motto) Cake
  3. Mrs Coleman (Aqua) – Chocolate Deluxe Cake

Family Winner – Rhys (Year 8) and Mum with their Aqua themed Cake = 20 Bonus Points

House Points

  1. Caeli = 70 Points
  2. Terra = 40 + 10 Points (Most entries)
  3. Aqua = 15 + 20 Points (Family entry)

Each entry will feature in our end of term house video. Well done to everyone who entered, each and every entry looked great!

House Lockdown Cup

Lockdown Cup House Totals

CRA have now reached Warsaw on our Virtual Tour of Europe and are currently on route to Budapest, Hungary. To reach the next destination we need another 200km. In just under 3 weeks we have received over 350 entries from CRA students and staff, covering a combined distance of 2,600km. This is a fantastic effort but we need more support from you! If you haven’t taken part yet join us on our journey and help CRA claim the DRET lockdown Cup by being the academy who covers the furthest distance.

DRET released academy scores at the end of last week and we are currently 4th overall from 33 academies and 2nd in the table for the average KM’s covered per student/staff at school. This is incredible but we need to keep this effort and hope more support our academy effort

It is really easy 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.

Terra began the week in 1st place but have suddenly found themselves in 3rd after Aqua regained top spot and Caeli powered into 2nd place. The house leader board is chopping and changing all of the time and it is so close to call who will come out on top. There are 20 bonus points on offer to the house who have the most participants by the end of January, so get involved! REMEMBER this is a 500 House Point competition and your house needs your help to claim those much needed points!

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

You can keep track with the progress on our Lockdown Cup ‘Tour of Europe’ via our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@CRA_HouseChamp). We will be sharing lots of fun facts along our journey!!

Book Review House Competition

This weeks house competition is a Book Review competition. To get involved all you need to do is write a review of a book you have read, old or new! See the image for details of what to include in your review, remember to give the book a rating!

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.

Mr Webb - Games Master

The Virtual School Library

Welcome to the Virtual School Library, brought you by Oak National Academy in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

Every week a popular children's author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads.

Having access to a school library is really important for children. School libraries nurture a love of reading that can enrich children’s literacy skills, academic achievements and mental wellbeing. Our Virtual School Library will complement existing school libraries and will ensure that children have access to the magical world of stories all year round, whether they are learning at school or at home.

We’ve worked with brilliant publishers and inspiring authors and illustrators to ensure that the books and activities in our Virtual School Library will support children’s wellbeing through reading.

Please visit the Virtual School Library for more information

How can I help my child with writing difficulties?

A common difficulty experienced by children and young people with ADHD is poor handwriting. ADHD can co-occur with Dysgraphia which is a specific learning difficulty that impacts on writing skills. However, if your son or daughter is experiencing difficulties with handwriting, it does not automatically mean that they have Dysgraphia.

Please click this link below for the full article.

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.


Tassomai’s founder Murray Morrison is running a training webinars on Thursday 28th January 12pm - 1pm to support parents who are using Tassomai during lockdown.

In this free webinar Murray will share his lockdown learning tips for homeschooling parents.

Murray will look at how parents can help their child get the most out of Tassomai. He will demonstrate how to use tools like the Tree to identify knowledge gaps and put together a sustainable, realistic study plan to help families through the next few weeks of lockdown.

There will also be an opportunity at the end for parents to ask Murray questions about Tassomai and about homeschooling in general.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Table Talk

In whole school assembly this week, we were discussing our moral compass. Here is a quote from Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history, who read her poem entitled "The hill we climb" for the Biden Presidential Inauguration earlier this month.

We hope you can find time this week to talk as a family about what you think Amanda is saying in this quote and how we can work on our moral compass to have the resilience to be the light for ourselves and others.

Word of the Week

Theo: god, religion (Greek word root)

Theology the study of the nature of God and religious belief.

Pantheon a group of particularly respected, famous, or important people.

Theocratic relating to or denoting a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.

The image for this week’s word is from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; in the Vatican, Rome; click on the link below for a short video with more information about its history:

Week commencing 1st February

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 1st February - 6 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 1st February during period 4

Year 11 Focus

Year 11 - Virtual Parents Evening 4th February

Don't forget its year 11 parents on February 4th 2021. We have sent a letter to all parents & carers on Friday 29th January with details on how register for slots with your child's subject teachers.

Weekly Update

We have almost reached Spring Half Term, and I am once again very proud of the work and dedication you have been putting into your work. After half term, although still remote we should have more information about what will happen with your GCSE assessments, which will allow us to plan and focus on what you need to do to achieve the best possible grade.

It is vital, of course, that you continue to attend all your lessons and interventions, however, I think that the key focus for you now needs to be being pro-active. Here is a link to show a short video about Proactive vs Reactive people.

How does this apply to you? The key target for you is to contact your teachers when you need to ask for help and support. Make sure that you contact your teachers by email, to ask for help, get extra work, tell them what you're worried about.

I know it can be hard to contact people and you feel that you're bothering them, but all your teachers would welcome contact from year 11s asking about their work.

Remember there is no year 11 assembly next week, but there will be on the last week of term.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

Supporting your teen's mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak

A guide for parents

It is hard to talk about mental health problems when everyone, no matter what their situation, is struggling with the challenges during this coronavirus outbreak. It is an exceptionally hard time for us all. For young people there are particular issues that they are facing. There is a huge amount of loss. This is partly because the normal structure of their lives has disappeared. It is not surprising that some young people feel cheated and angry. It is difficult to know what to do with such feelings. For a small number of teens, these feelings may exhibit in worrying behaviour. If you have a teen who is experiencing mental health problems, it may be difficult to get help in the usual way.

Acknowledge their distress

Find a way of letting your teenager know that you are aware of their distress, and that you want to help. The aim is to ensure that they do not shut down and stay open to talk to you. Try to use terms such as: “I feel for you and am here for you”. I can see this is very hard for you” or “I want to help, if you feel able to let me”.

Reassurance is key

Let your teen know that whatever they say, you will not be shocked, angry or frightened by their thoughts and feelings. One of the fears that young people may struggle with is the idea that their problems will have a terrible effect on you. Find a way of letting your teen know that, however shameful or frightening their thoughts, you are strong enough to cope and will be there for them.

Being there for them

Another important message is to show them that you are there for them. They need to know that you love them, and that no matter what happens, you will do your very utmost to help. Teens need to know that you will stick with them, and you will not reject them because of the way they are feeling. If it is possible, think about things you can do together that will show them that you are there for them. Perhaps you can cook their favourite meal, give them chores or responsibility that you think they will enjoy. Visit old photos or videos to remember better times. Playing games, making things together or having shared hobbies could be helpful too. Being available is the most important message.

What to avoid

If possible, avoid pleading, criticising or lecturing your teen. Let them know you are not judging them or their behaviour. Your teen might feel overwhelmed so choose your actions sensitively. The only way to open up communication is to find a way into their own agenda and to show that you will be really listening to them.

Ask the school for support

Although schools are closed, many parents will have a contact within the school system who may be able to give advice. This may be a head of year, a pastoral lead, or a head of wellbeing. Schools may offer support via the telephone or email on the best steps to take if one of their students is struggling with their mental health or signpost to relevant services. There are apps that young people can download on to their phones that provide guidance about managing depression or anxiety. Kooth are widely used by teens in the UK and this service has signposts for urgent support during a crisis.

Coronavirus – check what benefits you can get

You might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits if your work has been affected by coronavirus. This might be because you:

Are earning less or have been made redundant

Have lost your job or are self employed

It is worth completing a benefit health check with an online service from the Citizens Advice or Turn2us, these organisations both have useful tools such as the ‘benefit calculator’, this take less than ten minutes to complete and will direct you if you are entitled to more income.

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

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" • fill - "microphone active talk" • Tumisu - "smileys customer satisfaction review" • cocoparisienne - "texture background compass" • geralt - "business idea planning business plan" • MichaelGaida - "machine clock time" • geralt - "learn student laptop" • JayMantri - "bookshelf library literature" • julio_55 - "reading woman book" • 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"