CRA Newsletter - 08.01.2021 Half Term 3 - January 8th 2021

Principal's Update

What an interesting week this has been around the world and at CRA. It has been an unusual start to the Spring term with us having to amend our plans on three occasions. Staff are now getting back into the swing of live lessons via Teams and between DRET IT support, staff knowledge and your patience and support we have coped with the technology teething problems.

Mr Drumm has written a more parent/carer friendly timetable which will go on the Curriculum page over the weekend.

We have resumed our welfare calls and will be keeping in regular touch with all students.

We know how important it is for all of us to experience a sense of belonging and be involved in a community so we will be continuing to run House competitions as we did in the last national lockdown which students and families can get involved in. Details of those will be shared on Twitter, via the House Championship Instagram account and via the newsletter.

Please ensure you are reading MCAS messages and emails from the school to keep up to date with CRA provision.

Thanks for all your support and understanding this week, I hope you have a restful weekend.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

This week has tested our RESILIENCE in many ways. Some of our students have really shone through in their lessons and we would like celebrate these student as being remote learning stars.

Billy in Year 10 has been working hard over the holiday to perfect his fine drawing skills and produced this amazing sketch we wanted to share with you all.

"I got inspired by Don Mcullin and chose this photograph to push me to my limits to draw"

We look forward to seeing some more great work and contributions from students next week.

Careers' Corner

This week it would be brilliant if you take a look at this website with your parents / carers as it identifies a whole series of new opportunities in terms of careers which may help you to identify and achieve your dream job. It includes sections about people who are involved with saving the planet, those who are involved with saving lives and those involved with keeping others safe- which seems extremely pertinent at the moment.

There are also sections on soft skills- which will help you when setting out to achieve your future goals. There are sections on “green” energy -how to build responsibly and sustainably and reducing the negative impact on the environment – and discusses the skills needed to do this.

Please take a look and see what you think.

Riseholme College - Open Event - January 9th

Subject Zoom presentations 11am at the January 9th (tomorrow) event and 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.

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

As you are aware, students are accessing live lessons during the day, every school day. It is important that students are up and ready for their school day starting with assembly at 8:50am. Staff are taking a register and monitoring the attendance of every live lesson students have. If we notice that a student has not attended some of their live lessons throughout the day, we are making telephone calls home to ensure there are no issues such as technical issues, attending medical appointments, family commitments etc. We are here to provide support all our students and parents in accessing their live lessons so please do contact school if you are having any problems.

If you child has a medical appointment or has any issues meaning they cannot access a live lesson, please contact school so we are aware of this, so you do not get a telephone call home.

If you are a Critical Worker, please can you let school know in advance when your child will be attending school so that we know the numbers of students we are expecting in every day. If your child is poorly, please can you let school know with details of the absence so we can amend the registers accordingly.


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.

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.

House News

House Competitions – Lockdown 2.0

We are delighted to once again be delivering a series of house competitions for all at home to get involved in throughout lockdown. We will continue to maintain a sense of normality through a variety of house competitions, accessible for all to participate in and opportunities for house teams and the CRA community to stay connected. The series of competitions and events delivered during lockdown last year was extremely successful with over 80% of the academy participating in at least one competition and we received some really nice feedback from students, staff and family. This is why we are really excited to be bringing back some old favorites, including our weekly house family quiz and some brand new competitions.

Each week will feature a family house quiz in addition to a different competition. 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.

Weekly Family House Quiz – Stars of 2020

The first of our weekly house family quiz’s started this week with a ‘stars of 2020’ picture board round. There were 9 ‘stars of 2020’ to identify and we are pleased to reveal the results.

We received over 50 entries with 13 100% correct answers – see picture for results and house points awarded.

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.

Become a House Charity Leader!

House Championship Leader board

Caeli are still in 1st place following the points added from this week’s quiz. Terra have closed the gap in 2nd place to just 18 points and Aqua remain in 3rd place.

As we all saw last year the leader board dramatically changed through lockdown and Caeli who were in a similar position to what Aqua are, this year, managed to fight back and suddenly found themselves in 1st place leading into the final week. There are so many points on offer over the course of the coming weeks and a great opportunity to increase your house total.

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

Mr Webb - Games Master

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.


Since launching Tassomai back in September we have been seeing a real improvement already in many students ability to recall information, with many often saying ‘ I know this because I did it on Tassomai ’. This is leading to students gaining confidence and feeling fantastic as they are seeing first hand how the homework being set is supporting them make progress in lesson. We do however still have a number of students who are not using Tassomai as required. Each student needs to completing 4 daily goals in a week, these are monitored every Thursday immediately after school so we advise students to make they are done before Thursday. We would like to take the time to ask that you support us supporting your child to make progress and enter into conversation with them about using Tassomai, perhaps you could even ask to take a look at their learning tree - this maps out visually the students understanding and knowledge based upon Tassomai usage, it grows over time as they strengthen and secure key information.

We currently have about 180 students who are engaged which is brilliant but that does leave about 80 who are not yet using it as we require. Parent reports have been slightly delayed launching, but they should go live very soon. Please remember it is not too late sign up.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Library Update

We were very excited over the Christmas holidays to hear from one of our Year 7s that she had become our first Millionaire Reader of the year.

Lily in Terra 7 has read 16 books since September and passed the relevant Accelerated Reader quizzes, giving her a grand total of 1,058,808 words! She was very keen to achieve this, and fortunately she really, really loves the Harry Potter books, which made the job easier.

For the few students who can be in school this week, the library is open at breaktime and lunchtime for changing books (all books are quarantined after they have been returned), but I have had several messages from people who are worried that their books are now overdue because they cannot bring them back. Please ignore the emails and don't worry - we do understand!

In the meantime, though, please keep reading - and quizzing! If you are struggling to find books, or if you are unable to log in to Accelerated Reader, please let me know and I will see if there is anything I can do to help.

Mrs Spilberg - Librarian & TA

Table Talk

Our first House assembly of the new terms was about new beginnings and learning from 2020 to have an even better 2021 and be succesful and positive in all that we do.

We would like you to take the time as a family to discuss the quote from T.S Eliot, a famous American-British poet born in 1888.

Word of the Week

Hemi, semi: half (Greek word root)

Hemisphere a half of a sphere.

Semiconscious only partially conscious.

Semi-annual occurring twice a year.

Week commencing 11th 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 11th January - 9 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 11th January during period 1

Year 11 Focus

I am very proud to see that students at Charles Read have embraced new technologies and are working hard to attend and get help with their live lessons. Year 11 students must continue to give of their best so that they fulfil their potential and obtain the centre assessed grades they deserve.

It is important to notice that although students will not have formal GCSE exams in the summer, schools are going to be highly regulated about what grades they can give students. Students will have to sit some form of internal assessment in all their subjects so we can evidence their knowledge, so it is important that they attend all their live lessons and continue to work hard.

It will not be enough for teachers to think that a student will get a set grade, we will have to produce rigorous evidence for this.

Completing all work set and engaging in your lessons is vital in this time.

The most important thing to remember is that if you have any concerns or worries that you speak to a tutor, or your subject teacher. We are all here to support you and your education and well-being is our first priority in these difficult times.

All the best, and keep up the good work

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

At Christmas, some of our students will have been lucky enough to get new devices. We thought we would support you in making sure that these devices are set up safely, particularly with the increased need for students to be accessing technology on a daily basis.

Also included is a step by step guide to using an Xbox to access Microsoft Teams so if students are using a mobile phone to access their home learning, they might find it easier to work from a bigger screen through their xbox.

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

Upcoming events and dates for your diary include:

  • Year 10 Parents evening - Thursday 14th January 5pm-7pm (please see recent communications in regard to booking in with teachers).


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" • 777546 - "accounting report credit card" • LubosHouska - "books bookstore book" • 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"