CRA Newsletter - 12.03.2021 Half Term 4 - march 12th 2021

Principal's Update

We are thrilled to have all our students back where they belong at CRA and the majority are pleased to be back! Although we still have to adhere to social distancing with students and staff wearing masks in school everyone is benefitting from the connections, collaboration and communication.

We had a welcome back assembly sharing with students how much they have been missed, outlining their support team, detailing how we were going to build on the good work they have completed in lockdown and reminding students of our routines and expectations. We also talked about the quotation above and the importance of emotional intelligence and character development. We reminded students about the importance of displaying our CRA values of Courage, Resilience, Ambition, Confidence, Respect and Aspiration, particularly now as we take stock of what has just happened. We discussed how we can move forward, being mindful of how others may be feeling and making the most of every moment in the classroom with our expert teachers.

I have just walked the academy and students were working hard in a calm and purposeful environment. We are very proud of their achievements over the lockdown period and are glad to see them maximising the learning in the classroom.

Please check the website for the 2021-2022 term dates. Across DRET we are standardising a two week half term in October. The long autumn term can result in lots of illness for students and staff and we will be following the independent sector in extending the holiday with the aim of reducing absence and maximising quality of learning in the first term of the academic year. The half term will be 18th to the 29th October 2021.

I hope you have a great weekend and the wind and rain subside so that we can all enjoy the outdoors.

Mrs Jones - Principal

Term Dates 2021-22

Please visit the CRA website to review the updated term dates for the next academic year.

Lateral Flow Testing

Lateral Flow tests (for Covid) have taken place all week and will continue next week.

I'm delighted to report that the testing team and I were hugely impressed with the maturity and cooperation of all students during this time. To date we have completed over 350 tests, and are just over 50% of the way through the process.

Its inevitable that there will be instances of positive results during this period across all schools as students start to reintegrate. However, I am confident that the measures we have put in place will minimise the risk of transmission and keep everyone safe.

Home Testing

Following successful completion of 3 "in school" tests, students will be expected to self test at home twice per week. Details of how to receive test kits can be found via the link below.

Further guidance from the Government and Department of Education in respect of home testing can be found below:

A copy of the risk assessment and privacy policy relating to Lateral Flow Testing can be found on the CRA website.

Mr Linforth - Academy Operations Manager

CRA Values

In whole school assembly on Monday, SLT will be sharing their experiences of how our CRA values have been values they have worked on and shown in their lives and why they resonate with them.

All our values are important for our students during their time at CRA but also for life. I'm sure we can all think of examples of when we have had to demonstrate Courage or Resilience and where we have shown Respect.

Values are about what you do, not what you say and we have examined some core values of some national institutions and companies to compare to our CRA ones.

Device Return

Now that all year groups have returned to school, we need to ensure all devices that were loaned out during lockdown are returned. The Reception team will be in touch over the coming days to make arrangements for the device returns.

Students should return the devices directly back to Reception where safe return will be signed off on the loan form, before handing to the IT team.

Do not hand the device to anyone other than Reception staff as this could lead to you being charged for its loss or replacement.

If you are concerned about your child not being able to transport the device safely to us, please make arrangements with us to return the device in person yourself.

Until we have received the devices back in working order, you will be remain liable as per the loan agreement.

Mr Linforth - Academy Operations Manager

Uniform expectations

Now that all year groups have all returned to school its vital that we ensure everyone is adhering to the Academy Uniform Policy - details of which can be found here.

Students without a medical note will go into IE for incorrect uniform.

Face Masks

Masks are required to be worn on all school transport, during lessons and communal indoor spaces. Please ensure you have a spare mask just in case it requires changing throughout the day. We appreciate that communication whilst wearing a mask can be tricky, so please see the poster below for tips on effective communication whilst wearing a mask.

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.

LCC Transport Applications for current year 6 students

If you have current year 6 children moving to secondary school in September, then please review this letter from LCC regarding application for school transport.

If your child is starting primary school or transferring to secondary school in September 2021 they may be eligible for school transport. If you think your child is eligible please apply for transport as soon as you have your offer of a school place.

Applications can be made online at the website below or a telephone application can be made by contacting the Customer Service Centre on 01522 782020. For more information about the home to school transport policy and online applications please go to the LCC website. Queries can be emailed to schooltransportapplications@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

Careers' Corner

National Citizen Service

We are in a very lucky position to be able to welcome the NCS into School on Tuesday morning to talk to the students about their program – please speak to your child about this when they return home- this is a fabulous opportunity for them and in our opinion not one to be missed – the details are below.

Many of you will have heard of National Citizen Service (NCS) in assemblies or on social media, some of you may have even signed up! Due to COVID-19, last year was a little different, but this year we are hoping to offer the same awesome programme we have always offered!

This is your chance to get back out into the world with your mates, get some new skills, make even more friends AND make a difference by getting your communities back on their feet.

We are following all Government guidelines with regards to COVID 19 to ensure that the programme is safe for all.

This years NCS summer will either be a 2 or 3 week programme, giving you the chance to gain your independence, get out the house and stay away from home (Only on three week programme). Which, lets face it is much needed!

What are the benefits:

  • Make brand new friends and increase your independence
  • Learn new skills that can be used for work and education
  • Enhance your CV and UCAS applications
  • Get out into the world
  • Build confidence
  • Get involved in your local community
  • Have fun

It’s an exciting opportunity and not one to be missed. You can only do it whilst you are 16 or 17, so if you’re looking for a new challenge or a chance to get out the house and make a difference, visit wearencs.com and register today, places are limited.

Greater Lincolnshire jobs Fair- Next live event March 25th

There are employers with vacancies, training organisations, and people able to help you with advice to find a job or progress your careers. They are all based in Greater Lincolnshire, apart from a few that are just outside of the area. Explore their virtual exhibition stands to find out more.

During a live event they will be available to answer questions via email or message, and accept a request for a video call. In-between live events the exhibition stands will remain available if exhibitors choose that option, however the stands will be unattended and no chat or video call will be possible through the site. Make the most of live events because that is when someone is available to talk to. Next live event is March 25th. Please remember to let an adult know that you are taking part in these events and follow all on line safeguarding procedures.

Access the fair: www.greaterlincsjobsfair.co.uk. Use Google Chrome for the best experience. You do not need to log in or create an account as a visitor. You can access the site at any time. Once a month the fair becomes live, meaning employers are active at their stands. This is an ideal time to do some research into opportunities.

  • 1. Research exhibitors: take a look at the exhibition hall. Write down some facts about each of the businesses, colleges and support services.
  • 2. Research jobs and industries that interest you: take time to think about your future, what careers do you find exciting?
  • 3. Visit the Main Stage: here you will be able to view talks from employers and support services to give you some advice on your own career journey. Lots of speakers give tips on interview skills, CV writing and what they look for in employees.

Then use this information to help you with your next steps in terms of your applications.

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

Thinking Ahead – My Future, My Choice

Attention Year 8 & Year 9!

  • What are your future plans & career possibilities?
  • What plans to do you have after you have completed your GCSEs?
  • Do you plan to go on to further/higher education? If so what courses might you study?
  • What career ideas do you have for the future at the moment?

In year 7, 8 and 9 you will be learning new skills and knowledge that will give you the confidence to help you plan your next steps. This process starts with your careers education in school which will encourage you to think about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. You will also start to make some important decisions that could influence your future career path as you will be choosing your subjects to study for GCSE. This process will begin for all Year 9 students early next year.

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 Performing Arts’.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Attendance Update

Why do I need to contact school each day of absence?

During school hours, we as a school have a responsibility for the safeguarding of your child. This duty continues even if your child is at home unwell. Contacting us daily is not just about letting us know your child will not be attending school, it is also an opportunity for us to stay in touch, make sure you are all safe and offer any support you may need. If you do not contact school on the day of absence, this will prompt school to try to contact you. If phone, MCAS, email or text contact is not successful, a home visit may be attempted. Please do keep us informed of your child’s whereabouts and wellbeing.

Why is school attendance so important?

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best start in life; a child’s education is their key to unlock the world around them and is essential in them becoming happy and fulfilled adults. If a child misses school it is increasingly hard for them to catch up which is why it is so vital that, after another National Lockdown away from school, they should attend as much as possible.

Why is school attendance so important?

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best start in life; a child’s education is their key to unlock the world around them and is essential in them becoming happy and fulfilled adults. If a child misses school it is increasingly hard for them to catch up which is why it is so vital that, after another National Lockdown away from school, they should attend as much as possible.

Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager

Music Department Update

Lincolnshire Music Service Instrumental Lessons will be resuming onsite during the next couple of weeks and all students who have applied for lessons should be receiving contact direct from their instrumental teacher. If you haven't been contacted and you're not sure when you're lessons are going to start, please speak to Mrs Sharp.

If you wish to apply for Instrumental Lessons please go here and select the 1-1 Instrumental tab.

This term we now have Trumpet Tuesday's during enrichment with Mrs Jones, as well as Keyboard Club and Music Technology on Monday. I would also like to introduce Mr Marshall-Andrews who is a fabulous Guitarist, Drummer and also specialises in Music Technology. Mr Marshall-Andrews is mainly working with the Science Department, but is also keen to share his passion for Music with us too which is very exciting news for CRA Music Students. If you are a drummer or guitarist please do introduce yourself to Mr Marshall-Andrews.

Stay safe and keep practicing.

Mrs Sharp - Music & Maths Teacher

Art Department Update

Wonderful to see Y8 settle straight back into art and start working on our Musical Abstraction project.

Kenzie and Alex here making new musical annotations to classical music.

Such focus and effort for nearly an hour! Wow.

Mr Parker - Art Teacher

House News

CRA finish 4th in the DRE Lockdown Cup

We are delighted to share with you the overall results from the DRET Lockdown Cup competition. Thanks to the fantastic effort and commitment from everyone who played their part Charles Read Academy finished in 4th position across the whole trust, 33 academies in total.

This is a fantastic achievement and just shows what an amazing community we have at CRA. Despite being one of the smallest schools across the trust (the smallest secondary school) students and staff displayed all of the CRA core values to rise to the challenge.

The togetherness the CRA community has is unrivalled! CRA also finished 2nd across the trust for the most KM’s covered per head, the top scoring secondary school.

We are also really delighted to share that year 10 student, Felix finished 3rd across the trust for the most KM’s covered, from 1,500 participants; Just shy of 2,000km cycled.

Each and every one who took part really did make a difference, whether it was a 1km walk with the dog or a 100km bike ride each contribution was truly valued.

CRA Virtual Tour of Europe

As part of the Lockdown Cup, CRA launched a Virtual Tour of Europe which sees each of the distances submitted added together to provide a visual representation of how far CRA have travelled. The idea was to visit as many Capital Cities as possible before lockdown restrictions begin lifting, at the end of term.

So far on our European journey CRA have travelled the equivalent distance from CRA to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna, Venice, Rome, Monaco, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and we are now currently making our way back to CRA to complete our journey. 7,500km+ has been covered so far with another 1,200km+ left to go in just under 3 weeks!

Our virtual tour has enabled us to share fun facts and video tours of each destination as we pass through; 13 destinations from 11 countries. This initiative also caught the eye of a couple of ex CRA students who made contact with us to get involved. Christian and Raquel live in Germany and Portugal respectively and created a short video message welcoming us to their home country when we arrived. This was fantastic to see students and staff staying connected throughout lockdown.

You can see the progress CRA have made from the image, with only a short distance left to complete the journey. It is not too late to get involved and every single distance goes a long way.

The house which has covered the furthest distance by 31st March will be House Lockdown Cup champions and be awarded the lion share of the 500 house points on offer.

Entries to be submitted to housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk and must include your name and house team.

Term 4 House Competitions

We were really excited to welcome students back to CRA this week and share the upcoming House Competitions scheduled to take place this term. There are 4 competitions to get involved in over the next 2 to 3 weeks, with plenty of opportunities for all.

Mr Webb - Games Master

Table Talk

Thank you to those families who got involved in our House Table Talk competition last week. It was so great to read your contributions. We would love more of our families to get involved and this week our Table Talk topic contributions from families will go into a prize draw for some Easter goodies. Since we are looking at our CRA values and how they are values for life this week in whole school assembly, we would like you to discuss the following quote by Elvis Presley.

Photos/snippits of your conversation (even just a sentence about what you discussed) or voice recordings will count as entries. Please get your entries into housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk

Word of the Week

Fract, frag: break (Latin word root)

  • Fragment a small part broken off or separated from something.
  • Fragile easily destroyed or threatened.
  • Refract (of water, air, or glass) make (a ray of light) change direction when it enters at an angle

A short video which explains refraction

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 15th March - 7 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 15th March during period 4

Year 11 Focus

It has been absolutely wonderful to see the year 11s back in school, and every teacher has praised how hard they are working and how well they have settled back into school routines. It is also wonderful to see them supporting other year groups and being superb role models as they travel around the school.

In 2020 teachers were ask to make predictions of the grade a student would achieve if they sat the exam, in 2021 we are being asked to give a measure of where the student is currently performing. To this end we are going to create a portfolio of evidence for every student. We do not plan to make students sit formal mock exams and predicted exams in the exam hall, and instead each teacher will use mini assessments on topics to collect evidence of each student's current grade. Students will be aware of these grades so they know how to improve, although we are not allowed to share the final teacher assessed grade with students.

It is important that all year 11s keep working to help us build up this portfolio of evidence, so no matter what their situation was during lockdown we are able to make sure we have the evidence to give them the exam grade they deserve.

We will make sure we keep you up to date with timelines and when we expect year 11s to complete this work by as soon as we have more information from the government.

Keep up the good work

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

We attach a link to Young Minds website, a resource we share with our students regularly. There are some great pieces of advice about how to support with anxiety regarding the return to school and we hope you find these useful.

The Sporting Post

PE Kit Expectations

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 (as per the uniform policy on the website):

  • 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 find the link below to the ordering portal.

I would ask that all pupils are in correct PE kit from this term onwards.

Mr Lovatt - Head of Performance Faculty

Dates for your diary

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

  • Thursday 25th March – Year 9 Virtual Parents Evening
  • Thursday 22nd April - Rescheduled Year 8 Virtual Parents Evening


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