CRA Newsletter AutumN Term 1 - october 9th 2020

Principal's Update

It has been a great pleasure to feel some sense of normality with the majority of our students and staff back in school. The processes and procedures linked to the pandemic are becoming more habitual and it has been great to see students enjoying their friendships and interactions within year group bubbles.

Staff and students have been out enjoying the House football and I know the students will be keen to hear the outcome and the impact it has on the overall totals for the House Championship.

Students were introduced to the new homework policy this week and had an assembly explaining it. Homework is an important tool for consolidating knowledge and it allows the students to demonstrate some independent learning ability and self-regulation, both essential skills for the world of work.

I had the pleasure of interviewing a large number of year 11 students for the position of Head Boy and Head Girl today. It was really encouraging to hear about their ambitions and the values they feel are important in leadership roles. Hopefully next week we will be able to share the outcome with you.

We have recently drawn up a new PSHCE (Personal Social Health and Citizens Education) policy and would welcome your feedback. Given the implications of the recent lockdown on mental health it makes this more important than ever. You can review the draft policy here, and we would welcome any comments or thoughts on aspects you feel should be included.

We are very pleased to be part of a two-year research project with the Manchester Metropolitan University, Nasen and the Education Endowment Foundation. The project we are involved with is a Whole School SEND Review process with a framework that helps schools identify areas for improvement within their SEND provision and supports school improvement practices going forward. Whilst this is about improving provision for students with SEND needs it is also something that will have a positive impact on all the students at CRA.

All that is required is for your child to complete a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to measure any impact from the work undertaken by staff on student well-being, and this data will be shared with us as academy. The SDQ consists of 25 statements (eg ‘I usually do as I am told’) and takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Your child will complete the SDQ in January or February 2021 and then in July 2022 if your child is currently in Year 9 or July 2023 if your child is currently in Year 8. Your child will be presented with a short video explaining the purpose of the SDQ and the potential benefits of the project. Your child’s teacher will also talk about the project and the importance of the SDQ. Your child will then be able to choose whether or not to complete it.

Please read the Parent information and Privacy notice. If you do not want your child to be involved please complete the Research Withdrawal Slip at the end of the parent information.

Finally, Sunday 11th October is the last day to send your feedback to the CRA Parent/Carer survey. Please click on this link if you haven't done so already as we value your feedback. I look forward to receiving your comments.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend,

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

We always talk about our values at CRA and they permeate through everything we do. We regularly recognise students for showing a particular value in something that they do and have been sending home postcards to let parents and carers know that we are recognising their child for showing Courage, Respect, Aspiration, Confidence, Resilience, Ambition.

Curriculum Update

Student Portal & Homework

All pupils have now managed to access the Student Portal either from home or whilst at school. Please review the CRA Homework Policy 2020 for further details.

Please can you ask your children to update their Student Portal app if they have it saved on their phones/tablets. There have been bug fixes, that should eradicate some of the access issues students were experiencing.

Earlier today we sent out emails relating to student homework completion. There are concerns that some students are not completing their homework and accordingly they will be placed into prep during the enrichment sessions on Mondays and Tuesday.

There were some technical errors in the report and it showed some children that had missed homework, when in fact this was not the case. We have contacted the parents of those children who will now not need to change their enrichment session. Apologies for any confusion caused.

If you are not sure what homework has been missed, or behavioural issues have occurred please check MCAS. In the behaviour section you can see what homework is due, and what's been completed (red = negative, yellow = neutral, green = positive). If you click on the specific date and colour it will tell you what the event was. Please check this before contacting the office or teacher


Miss Robinson will be in touch next week to discuss the weekly report that we are using that is generated by the Tassomai system. The system will send you a weekly update of your child's progress so you know where they are up to. However, we will require your permission to share your email address with the provider. For now, you don't need to do anything until you receive the information from Miss Robinson next week.


Career's Corner

Unifrog Update

Unifrog provides all available careers information in one single, impartial, user-friendly platform that helps students to make the best careers choices and submit the strongest applications. It will track every students’ careers activity undertaken and progress. It will help every student find their future in post 16 course options in the World of Work.

Unifrog within our school has been a major success for the majority of students over the last couple of weeks. Most of our students have completed a personality and interests’ profile, as well as a post 16 intentions profile. These activities will help the students to navigate and explore the Careers library and get them thinking about different careers in a fun and engaging way.

Answering the questions encourages students to reflect on their likes, dislikes and what they are good at, making the test a valuable tool to use with all students.

The Interests quiz aims to teach students more about themselves and allows students to see which careers there are available that relate to their specific areas of interest.

To access Unifrog please click on this button

Watch this space for future updates concerning careers or visit the CRA website Careers Support pages.

Attendance Update

This weeks attendance

Terra9 and Terra10 have had 100% all this week in school, which is amazing, well done Terra!!!

Y7, Y8 and Y9 Aqua House have had 3 days in a row of 100% attendance this week.

Holidays during term time

Every parent/carer has already received our Holiday Warning letter via MCAS message, this Holiday Warning Letter is valid for 2 years of issue.

The Holiday Warning letter states that if you after receiving this warning letter you still wish to seek approval for any request of absence for your child from School, then you must apply in writing to the Principal, at least four weeks in advance of the request for absence.

If you then choose to take your child out of school during term time and it is not deemed to be exceptional circumstances and/or has not been approved by the School, then this will be coded as an unauthorised absence and a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued for the period of absence. Failure to pay the Fixed Penalty may result in further legal action being taken against you.

If you need any further information regarding this, please contact school.


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.

We celebrate attendance at Charles Read Academy:

  • By awarding 100% attendance through our attendance raffle for a free lunch for KS3 and KS4 each week.
  • Students with 100% attendance receive 10 reward points weekly.
  • By sending a MCAS message home every week to all 100% attendance students.
  • By awarding individual certificates to individual children who have 100% for each term.
  • By awarding academy certificates to individual children who get 100% attendance for the whole academic year (September to July).
  • Celebrating and rewarding the success of those who have gained the most improved attendance throughout the academic year.

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

House News

House Football Competition

For an update on the house football competition please scroll down to the Sporting Post section at the end of the Newsletter.

World Mental Health Day

Saturday 10th October is World Mental Health Day and the House Championship is running a short student survey to see what our students are doing to look after their well-being. The image shows five different strategies which can be used to improve your own or others well-being. It would be great to hear all the different things our students are doing to look after their well-being so please if you complete one of these actions today or over the weekend please click here to fill out our survey. There are 20 bonus house points on offer for the house with the highest amount of responses.

Portrait Artist Competition

FINAL CALL for portrait artist submissions. The deadline for the Portrait Artist competition is on Friday 16th October. To enter this competition you are required to draw a portrait of someone who inspires you – this does not have to be someone famous and could be a family member, friend or even a member of staff. The competition is worth 125 points with bonus points on offer for the house with the most entries. Entries must be handed to the Games Master or Head of House before being displayed in the hall. The competition is open to all.

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

Staff Spot

Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to the newest members of the team here at CRA. This week its our new Drama & Dance Teacher, Miss Elsby:

"Having grown up in the middle east, Qatar, I have been surrounded by a variety of cultures that have enhanced my enjoyment for exploring performing arts from all different parts of the world. Additionally, I have a great passion for visiting and learning about new places and most importantly trying new foods!

From a young age I have always been fascinated with the performing arts world, from ballet classes at the age of three strongly continuing to my roll now as a performing arts teacher. Along with my arts passions I really enjoyed the subjects English, PE and Media studies at school. After choosing these subjects at A level, my education then led me to university where I went on to study Performing arts for film and stage.

Before going into teaching I had the great opportunity of working on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, for three years, as a youth entertainer with children six months to seventeen years. This developed my desires for wanting to learn more about different cultures, places and people.

Outside of school I enjoy socialising with friends, eating far too much and shopping way more than that! I also love going on holiday (as much as I can) as I am real sun worshiper!"

Miss Elsby - Drama & Dance Teacher

Department Updates

Year 11 Art work

Some excellent work coming from Year 11.

Studies from nature perfecting drawing technique, as well as painting skills are finally bearing fruit after the difficult time away from school.

The long hours working in the portfolio are looking terrific!

Mr Parker - Art & PSHE Teacher

Table Talk

Our character assembly next week is on the topic of communication and the skills we use to communicate effectively with others. We would love you to discuss around the dinner table this weekend the quote by Albert Einstein and what skills you use as a family to communicate in different situations.

Word of the Week

Dem: people (Greek word root)

Demograph the study of statistics such as births, deaths, income, or the incidence of disease, which illustrate the changing structure of human populations.

Democracy a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Epidemic a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

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 October 12th - 12 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing October 12th during period 2

Year 11 Focus

This week we had interviews for the head boy and head girl of Charles Read. The standard of the applications was very high and students had obviously taken time and care to think about the role and prepared accordingly. It is a massive credit to the spirit of year 11, that so many students wanted to apply for this role and to put themselves forward as ambassadors for the school and role models for the younger year groups. The head boy and head girl will be announced next week.

Attendance is a key issue for year 11, not being in school means that they are losing vital time. It is encouraging to see so many days this week with a year 11 tutor group with 100% attendance for that day. All year 11 know the importance of being in school - and contacting their teachers to catch up the work if they are not in.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

Routine can anchor us

Routine can be an anchor. No matter what’s going on in our day, knowing that we will be having our evening meal around 6 pm, and going to bed around 10 pm, can be a real comfort. The certainty of our routine can help us to manage the uncertainty that life can throw up. Coping with unpredictable periods of time can feel more doable when we have a little structure in place to look to.

Please take some time to review the sections below, discuss with your children, and click on the links to read the advice from the Blurt It Out website.

Reducing Stress

Having a daily routine can help to reduce our stress levels. Trying to remember things can be really stressful and can fill our brains up with everything on our ‘to do’ list; which can be incredibly overwhelming. When we have a routine, a lot of the things we do day-to-day slot in, and we don’t have to think about them anymore. For example, when we’re well we don’t have to remember to clean our teeth, because we know from habit that teeth-cleaning comes after breakfast every day. Routine can take the guesswork and uncertainty out of bits of our day, which can allow us to feel more in control and less stressed.

Daily Habits

Having a routine can help us to cultivate positive daily habits and to prioritise self-care. Organising our time gives have the opportunity to build in blocks of time for things that are important to us. This can allow us to build in daily habits that help us with our mental health. It could include things like time to relax, or a regular bedtime. When they’re part of our routine, it can make it easier to keep up with them because we have the time to do them and they become our ‘new normal’.

Sleep Routine

One of the things that having a regular routine can really help with, is sleep. Sleep is really important for our mental health because going to bed and waking up at a similar time most days allows our body gets used to our sleep-wake cycle and sets our sleep-wake clock accordingly. This means that by having a regular sleep routine, especially if we build in some time to wind down before we go to bed each day, we should begin to find that we find it easier to get to sleep and sleep better once we are asleep.

Build in the important things

Creating a routine allows us to build in time for the important things. This includes time to rest, relax, and have fun. It’s not perfect – there are always going to be days when something overruns, a job takes three times as long as we expect it to take, or someone pops in unexpectedly. But structuring our time to include some downtime increases the likelihood that we’ll manage to have that time most days. We will all value different things – for some of us it might be sport, others might want some time each day to play with their cat, some of us might enjoy sitting and reading for a little while. For many of us, it will be something else entirely, but that’s why our daily routines are individual to us.

Daily habits

Having a routine can help us to cultivate positive daily habits and to prioritise self-care. Organising our time gives us time to build in blocks of time for things that are important to us. This can allow us to build in daily habits that help us with our mental health. It could include things like time to relax, or a regular bedtime. When they’re part of our routine, it can make it easier to keep up with them because we have the time to do them and they become our ‘new normal’.

The Sporting Post

House Football Competition

This week at CRA each of the three house teams at Charles Read Academy have gone head to head in a week long house football competition. The competition has been extremely popular among students and staff at CRA with over 100 students representing their house team at some point this week. Due to COVID social distancing restrictions each year group took part in a mini round robin event during lunchtime every day this week to maintain year group bubbles.

The competition got off to a fantastic start with a closely contested round of year 7 matches which saw Terra race into the lead with a 2-1 victory over Caeli and a 1-1 draw with Aqua. Three points were awarded for every individual victory and a point for a draw, with the overall points accumulated across the week from each year groups round of matches to determine the overall winner. Day 2 of the competition was a day for Caeli 8 to remember as they drew level with Terra at the top of table, picking up 4 points from a possible 6, following a 2-0 victory over Terra and 0-0 draw with Aqua. Going into the half way stage of the event, the competition and excitement really started to heat up and the pressure was on Aqua to try and claw back the 5 point lead both Terra and Caeli had over them. Aqua 9 rose to the occasion and picked up a maximum 6 points from their 2 games after a 2-1 victory over Terra and 1-0 win against Caeli. The final game in this year group finished in a 1-1 draw between Caeli and Terra meaning that the day ended with all three house teams on 8 points heading into the penultimate day of the competition.

With the house teams tied on 8 points you could feel the suspense among the players, students and staff building. Despite the pressure Caeli 10 displayed a huge amount of resilience and togetherness to weather the early storm in their first match against a strong Terra side before launching a swift counter attack and clinching a 1-0 victory in the last few minutes. Caeli 10 followed this performance up with a 1-1 draw with Aqua, despite what looked like staring down the barrel of defeat again they lived up to their motto ‘perseverance conquers’ as they were rewarded for their hard work with a late equaliser meaning Caeli picked up 4 points from 9. The final year 10 match finished 0-0 between Terra and Aqua.

Today is the final round of matches as the year 11s take to the field in what promises to be another thrilling afternoon of football between three evenly matched teams. Caeli head into the final afternoon on 12 points, Aqua on 10 points and Terra on 9

Mr Webb - PE Teacher

For regular updates from the PE department, follow our Twitter and Instagram Pages (@sportatcra).

Transition at CRA

As we are nearing the first half term of the academic year, I am proud to say that our Year 7 students have settled extremely well. They have all thrown themselves into academy life with great gusto, and we have already seen applications for house competitions, Librarians, Form monitors and All-Star readers, to name just a few!

Due to Covid, the transition process this year has been somewhat ‘different’ and at times challenging, but the unprecedented times we found ourselves in, also allowed us the opportunity to really look at how the programme runs and make changes where necessary, ensuring students and parents are receiving a comprehensive transition from KS2 to KS3 and beyond.

One addition we have made, is to provide an opportunity for parents to provide feedback on all areas of the transition process, both positive and negative. This feedback will be invaluable and will support us in planning for future students and their families when joining CRA. Please do contact me on cdexter@charlesreadacademy.co.uk if you require any assistance with this or would like to discuss further.

We are offering ‘Meet the Tutor’ appointments for all Year 7 parents, week commencing 19th October. If you would like to make an appointment, please call the school office on 01476 550333.

Finally, I would like to thank the Year 7 students, on behalf of myself and the Year 7 team, for their hard work and commitment so far, and we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you all at CRA.

Mrs Dexter - Transition Lead

Dates for your diary

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

Highlights next week include:

  • House Competition - "The Chase" week
  • House honours launch - Aspiration
  • Assembly Theme - Character - Communication and body language
  • Voting for student leadership


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