CRA Newsletter - 05.02.2021 Half Term 3 - February 5th 2021

Principal's Update

We were very fortunate this week to receive sixteen tablets from staff at Grantham Sainsbury’s and Argos. Due to their generosity these new devices will enable us to ensure all students at CRA have some way of accessing their online lessons. The DRET IT team are setting them up for us and we are hoping to have them out to students as soon as possible.

There is much good news to share this week. DRET Sport have been running the DRET Lockdown Cup over this current lockdown with the aim of motivating pupils and staff across the Trust to keep active and engaged. An incredible 1,325 people across the Trust have already taken part and they are getting hundreds of submissions sent in every day! It is fantastic to see people really engaging with this competition, getting active outside and enjoying being physically active. At Charles Read we have shown incredible commitment to the competition, alongside our own inter-house competition. Congratulations to Felix who covered the furthest distance in the entire Trust! CRA were close to winning the Per Head Cup for January as well. Well done to the whole CRA Team who have taken part so far. We are a small school but are showing that we can be a big contender.

All involved in the House system have relished seeing the huge enthusiasm that has been generated by the competition ‘CRA does the Masked Singer.’ Staff and students have been enjoying the daily vocal displays and costumes of the competitors. Thanks to all the staff who have got involved. These activities are helping us all still feel connected and one community.

I have sent a detailed letter home to parents of year 11 students this week about the proposals that Ofqual have shared and the likely format that mini exams and summer assessments might take. It is vital that all parents of year 11 students have read this and discussed it with their child as it contains some very important information.

Please remember that we stop formal lessons at 12.30pm on Friday 12th February to give students time away from their screens and to undertake activities linked to the Five Ways of Well-being. I am looking forward to sharing some of the things our students did as part of this focus in next week’s newsletter.

As you will know we are keen to continually improve our on line remote learning provision and this week we are really focusing on engagement and encouraging the students to participate in the chat, to use relevant emojis, give live responses via the microphone and to ensure they submit their work on line.

If you haven’t completed our parent survey in relation to our remote learning provision please do so by 3pm on Monday 8th by completing the form here.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

Students and staff at CRA are delighted by devices for students

Students and staff at Charles Read Academy, a small non-selective school in Corby Glen, were delighted on Monday 1st February when representatives from Sainsburys and Argos delivered 16 fantastic tablets for students to use for their remote learning. This generous gift will mean that all students at CRA have at least one type of device from which they can access their live on line lessons.

Staff from Sainsburys raised money for the tablets knowing how critical and how hard it is for students to effectively engage in their home learning if they haven’t got a device.

Under the leadership and direction of Jessica Stroud, Michelle Davis and Daniel Cragg, staff were motivated to raise funds and donate their gift to Charles Read Academy as they knew that by supporting a smaller school, a greater percentage of children would benefit than at a larger school.

Principal Sue Jones said:

“We are hugely grateful for this generous donation from Sainsbury and Argos – the tablets will make a real difference at Charles Read Academy. Our staff have been incredible throughout the pandemic. They have been delivering live lessons at CRA since the start of this lockdown, ensuring students have at least five hours of lessons and interaction with the academy every day. As well as having access to paper-based booklets and activities students greatly enjoy and benefit through the interaction with the online lessons.

“Students don’t, however, spend 5 hours in front of the device. There are written and active tasks to complete away from a screen as well to achieve a more balanced provision. At the start of the day students access a virtual assembly or receive welfare calls from their tutors to check on their well-being and to receive important messages.

“Whilst we are very proud of current remote provision and support for keyworker and students who are invited onto site, we are all very excited and looking forward to a full return to school in the near future.”

CRA Values

This week's whole school assembly focused on ASPIRATION and more specifically an introduction to University and what it is, why people choose to go to university and what are the advantages (see image), how one would get there and what are the benefits of going to University. We want our students to aspire to what they want to achieve and understand what they need to do to get there. Every student in our CRA cohort can achieve their dreams if they want it hard enough and are prepared to put every effort into achieving by showing real AMBITION. That is what we try to inspire in them, whilst helping them build their CONFIDENCE, RESILIENCE and COURAGE to get there.

Year 11 Parents Evening Issues

Dear Parents of Year 11, We would like to apologise to you all for a number of technical issues experienced during the Year 11 Parents evening.

Microsoft Teams appointments had been scheduled to include a ‘Lobby’ feature. This is a feature which allows the meeting organiser to control when a meeting begins and ends and also who is admitted to a conference call. Unfortunately, it appears that this feature was not functioning as it should. This is very frustrating given that we have successfully delivered two Virtual Parents evenings via Microsoft Teams without issue. In spite of the technical issues, I know that the majority of you were still able to take part in an appointment with your child’s teachers and the meetings were very productive.

Once again, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We are working with our Trust colleagues to ensure that this does not happen again. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal


  • 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.

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

Guest Speaker

We have been very fortunate to secure a STEM speaker to speak to our year 10 students in a virtual meeting today to discuss Engineering as a career option. Stephen Lang spoke to the year 10 students about the different approaches that you could use in order to secure a role in The Engineering sector, and explained that he had started out as an apprentice mechanical engineer, before going on to work in the Aerospace Industry before finally securing a job designing prosthetic limbs- and he then talked us through all of the principles relating to the design and manufacture of these. He then went on to answer questions from the students about how they could enter the profession , the different entry routes, via apprenticeships, A’levels or the degree route, and the fact that Engineering was very much a career choice for everyone. We thank him for giving us his time today – and if you are willing to talk about your career choices then please contact us at the academy as we would love to hear from you.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the students who were listening today – they make some interesting points

Ryan Walker
Alex Cole

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 History".

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

Year 11 Intervention lessons

Intervention lessons for Year 11 are still running every Monday and Tuesday 3:15pm-4:15pm via TEAMS. It is essential that all year 11 students attend their intervention lessons. Every year 11 student has been assigned to an intervention group on Mondays and Tuesdays and these will show in their TEAMS calendar. If you are unsure what intervention group you should be in then please contact your teachers to discuss

Reporting student absence during National Lockdown

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 you are a Critical Worker, you must inform school if you have changed your working patterns/days/shifts or are now working from home as this may allow another Critical Worker child to attend school.
  • 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.

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:

  • 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.

House News

Lockdown Cup

Fantastic results for the CRA community as a whole for January 2021 in the CRA Lockdown Cup.

As a collective, all 3 House have all joined in to achieve a fantastic total of 3183 KM covered, placing us 4th overall in DRET.

Bearing in mind we are one of the smaller Academies by number in the Trust, this result is even more impressive, as the average KM per person below places us in 2nd overall!

Now we move on to February to see if we can push further up the different leaderboards!

And its Gold for Felix Earth

CRAs very own Felix Earth in Year 10 has been placed top of the Trust for numbers of KM covered

Felix Earth

The Masked Singer Competition

This week has seen all students and staff trying to identify staff singers in CRAs version of the Masked Singer. Each morning a member of staff performs a song of their choice hidden behind a mask and students have 24 hours to cast their vote.

Each correct answer is worth house points. There has been an overwhelming response to this competition with over 100 response each day. You can see all of the performances so far by heading to the house championship social media pages (Twitter and Instagram)- @CRA_HouseChamp.

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.

Table Talk

"What would life be if we had no COURAGE to try anything?" Vincent Van Gogh, incredibly famous Dutch painter in the 19th Century.

Our whole school assembly topic was linked to ASPIRATION this week, focusing on University life and pathways to access degrees.

We would love you to talk at home about what your aspirations were as a child, teenager and adult. Did you achieve your dreams? If so, how? If not, why not? and what aspirations do you have for your child(ren) and their futures?

Word of the Week

Ann, enn: year, yearly (Latin word root)

  • Annual occurring once every year.
  • Millennium a period of a thousand years, especially when calculated from the traditional date of the birth of Christ.
  • Watch this short video for an explanation of a religious definition of millennium
  • Perennial lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring.

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 8th February - 12 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 8th February during period 5

Year 11 Focus

It's been a busy week for year 11, with lessons and preparation for their end of term assessments continuing. It is good to see that the attendance of year 11s in these lessons is going up, but we are now tracking the engagement of students, so it is important students respond to questions asked, and submit all work asked.

With year 11 parents evening this week it was great to speak to the parents of our students and speak to them about what they need to do to improve and how they can be supported by our staff.

With the government consolation about how GCSE and BTEC grades will be awarded about to be released in the next few weeks, we are planning on organising a virtual information evening for parents and students to make sure we communicate this to you clearly and let you know how we are going to approach this as a school.

With one week to go until half term, it is important that students keep the momentum going, so we can make sure all content is covered so we can concentrate on preparing them for whatever assessment method is decided by the consolation.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Exam Option Entries for Summer 2021

We have today sent out your GCSE entries for Summer 2021. The details are on parents MCAS accounts and in Student Portal - both in the "Reports" sections.

Its imperative that you check all the details are correct and contact us to advise by 11th February via this email address rthorpe@charlesreadacademy.co.uk

Mrs Thorpe - Data & Exams Officer

Teen Support

15 Coping Strategies for when things are tough
  • Understand this is not you, or a failure in you. How you are feeling is a product of months of living with high stress, uncertainty and anxiety, along with the inability to use our normal coping strategies. The depletion and exhaustion are a result of our body having its foot on the gas pedal for too long, which leaves us feeling as if we are running on empty.
  • Hold onto your buoys – the things that keep you afloat when waters are choppy. What gentle activities might you have capacity for? Perhaps make breakfast the night before, make sure you drink enough fluid, let in some daylight or go to bed early. These things don’t use up many resources, but not doing them can make you sink far faster when you are feeling bad already.
  • If your normal coping strategies seem too much effort, try to think of a smaller way that you could apply these so they still have some effect. Can’t face zooming? Can you text instead? Can’t face the gym? Go outside for a walk for a few minutes. Seeing coping strategies as all or nothing can lead you to abandon them, but finding gentle alternatives provides some of the positive impact, which is far better than none at all.
  • Be extra gentle on yourself when we are tired we have less cognitive resources. More things may go wrong, we can do less and we may not function how we expect. This is lighter fuel for your inner critic and your brain can fall into wellworn paths of self-criticism. This is a signal to hold on to self-compassion and not let go, but you may not have the resources to do this. Find ways to remind yourself of your compassionate voice that requires less effort, such as prompts or saved kind messages.
  • Our brain predicts how we will feel based on how we feel now. Feeling rubbish means your forecasting is likely to be off and you are more likely to predict you will not enjoy activities. Plan things based on the knowledge that you have enjoyed them previously. This is a better indicator of whether you will enjoy something again than your current mood. A walk outside may feel unappealing, but test it out – go outside for five minutes and see what it actually feels like. If it feels good, keep going, if not, come home and snuggle up.
  • Don’t shame yourself for feeling rubbish. Shaming ourselves for our emotions can lead us to suppress them, which ironically leads to greater stress. You feel bad because it is difficult and you are allowed to feel this way. It seems like you will always feel this way, because it’s hard to predict feeling any other way when you feel bad. But no emotion can last forever and our psychological immune system works in much the same way as our physical immune system . . . you will not feel like this always and you will feel differently again.
  • Our brain is drawn towards the negative at the best of times. When feeling bad we are even more likely to focus on things consistent with our mood, amplifying the negative. Try to consciously draw your attention towards things that make you feel good – help your brain notice the good stuff. This can be effortful when you feel depleted, but the initial effort can be worth the longer-term return on how you feel.
  • Remember that none of us can always function alone. We all need extra input at times. Seeking and accepting help is not a failure, it’s a basic human need and a form of active coping to help keep us afloat.
  • Plan daily pockets of joy and relaxation. Creating positive affect is imperative right now. Try to plan things to look forward to across the next week and month, so that your brain has something positive to anticipate.
  • Prioritize activities that give you meaning and purpose, as these are inherently good for wellbeing.
  • Create comforting rituals – these can be things you do on a daily or weekly basis. Or create some meaningful new family/friend/workplace rituals to look forward to.
  • Make active decisions about what you let into your limited brain space. Don’t allow news, social media and negative information to take up too much of your resources. Decide what it is most helpful for you to focus on right now.
  • Our brains like certainty but think about whether the places you look for certainty are actually creating more uncertainty or making you feel anxious. We check the news, social media or talk about the current situation in an attempt to create certainty, but often these things can actually make us feel worse and more uncertain.
  • Watch out for the myths and societal messages around productivity. We are naturally inclined to want to achieve and society bolsters this belief by rewarding achievements. Then when our productivity drops because we are depleted, we can no longer meet the standards we have set, which means we feel like we are failing. Try to set realistic expectations based on how you are feeling now, not what you are usually like. Allow yourself to slow down, lower the bar and do less, if possible.
  • Reframe the meaning of taking a break and allow yourself to enjoy it. This is essential for your body, brain and wellbeing.

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" • PIX1861 - "tablet touch screen reading glasses" • RochasBrasil - "stone rocks rock" • Alexas_Fotos - "excuse me sorry smiley" • fill - "microphone active talk" • Tumisu - "smileys customer satisfaction review" • cocoparisienne - "texture background compass" • ArtisticOperations - "school bus houston texas street" • geralt - "business idea planning business plan" • MichaelGaida - "machine clock time" • geralt - "learn student laptop" • JayMantri - "bookshelf library literature" • julio_55 - "reading woman 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"