CRA Newsletter 27.11.20 AutumN Term 2 - November 27th 2020

Principal's Update

It has been great to able to congratulate a number of our Year 11 students on their successful mock interviews with the Rotary Club this week. ‘Scary but really useful,’ was how one student described it to me. It is such a valuable experience being interviewed by people you don’t know and knowing that your future career doesn’t depend on a successful outcome. In that context it becomes purely a learning process and regardless of how it went everyone can gain from the experience. All students have received valuable feedback and have grown from the experience in a high challenge low threat environment.

As I am writing the Year 10 and 11 students are watching a live virtual performance of Macbeth. It is fascinating as the actors are all in their own homes and by the power of zoom, with different scenery backgrounds and costumes are performing the play. They also come out of character at points changing the background to blue, so it is clear they are no longer in character to discuss the motivation of their characters and give some history about the context at the time. I can see that this is a great model going forward even when things have settled down with the pandemic. I am looking forward to seeing how they will deliver ‘A Christmas Carol.’

Next week we are looking forward to ‘I’m a Teacher Get me Out of Here’ which has had to be postponed a week. Aqua have done particularly well in securing a high number of VIP tickets because of their excellent attendance this week. Well done Aqua!

Just a reminder that all the term dates are on the website under Parent Information at the bottom, and that term finishes on December 17th this year which is a Thursday. I do hope that you are going to be able to see family and have some relaxation after the recent announcement by Boris Johnson. It is such an important time of year for many reasons including having time for some fun and a time to recharge our batteries!

Have a lovely weekend,

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

On Monday we had our first drop down enrichment/PSHE day.

Our year 7 and 8 students completed a carousel of sessions provided by LCC Stay Safe Partnership on sessions from ASB to online safety, fire safety to healthy relationships. There were lots of great conversations talking about having the courage to do the right thing, the confidence to speak out and be a responsible and respectful citizen taking place in classrooms.

Our Year 9s stayed as a form and completed a Careers Enterprise Day in which they worked as teams to create a business idea and formulate it into an ambitious business plan to present to the rest of the year group. The winning team voted for by the students was a group that came up with an innovative face mask ensuring safety for our students. They also had a revision techniques session at the end of the day to provide a range of strategies for students to be resilient in their revision for their forthcoming assessments. We encourage you to discuss these strategies with your child at home.

Our Year 10 and 11 students had an aspirational day, collecting information about entry requirements and courses available for their post 16 options locally. This included input from Grantham College, Stamford College and Rotary who provided a session on the importance of writing a good C.V. These sessions will be followed up in January when the Year 11 students will be having interviews with a professional careers advisor.

Curriculum Update

Work during "Covid Isolation"

If a student is in an enforced period of isolation after coming into contact with someone, or are unable to come in due to having symptoms of their own, they can still access their lessons. The Lockdown Curriculum map is available on the CRA website. The lesson plans module on Student Portal will also show them the current position their classmates are studying on a particular day.

Accessing the Curriculum

In order to make sure our students achieve their potential and consolidate learning from the classroom we need to improve the rate of homework submission.

So that you can continue to support your child with their homework, we kindly ask that you:

  • Check Student Portal on a regular basis with their child.
  • Engage with your child about their homework, take an interest and offer support, where possible.
  • Support your child by testing memory recall and supporting information retrieval.
  • Wherever possible ensure that they have a suitable and quiet place to complete the homework.
  • Raise concerns with their form tutor or subject teacher if you are worried about your child’s homework.
  • Speak to the academy if there is an issue with IT or Student Portal.
  • Request that your son/daughter be assigned to an ‘Academic Prep’ in the event that they need further support.

Homework is important at all stages in your child’s education and when used properly, it extends the challenge open to them and ensures that teaching time is used to maximise effect. It also makes a significant contribution to the development of independent learning.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Career's Corner

Unifrog - Parent Reports

Unifrog - our careers portal, have this week provided Parents & Carers access to student summary emails, which will be sent to you on a weekly basis. Obviously if you do not wish to receive them you can opt out by following the links in the emails you receive. However, we hope it gives students and their families the opportunity to discuss different topics and ideas related to the world of work.

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 Business’.

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 & Mrs Ludlam - Careers

Attendance Update

Aqua7 and Aqua8 have had four days of 100% attendance this week which is fantastic and this will be celebrated in our house assemblies next week. These Tutor Groups showing CRA values of Resilience and Courage.

The whole of KS3 Aqua house – Aqua7, Aqua8 and Aqua9 have had 100% attendance for two days this week.

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.


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

Santa Run

The deadline to submit Santa Run sponsorship forms and money has passed (Friday 27th November) in order to receive a Santa item to run in. Please note you are still able to fundraise and take part in the event by submitting your sponsorship forms and money by Tuesday 15th December but will not receive any of the items. Students who raise over £25 will still gain entry to the House Christmas Party.

The Santa Run was a great success last year, with over 2,700 students and staff across the trust (and one Olympic Champion) participating, raising over £30,000 to support DRET to continue delivering there excellent Enrichment Programme which our students benefit from. The event will take place in the morning of Wednesday 16th December and is open to staff and students to participate in.

Different to last year, this year’s Santa Run will be run in school bubbles with final details to be confirmed once we have the numbers of participants.

Items will be ordered for those who hit the following fundraising targets by Friday:

  • Raise £5 and receive a Santa hat to run in
  • Raise £10 and receive a full Santa suit and beard to run in
  • Raise £15 and receive a full Santa suit, beard and medal at the end of the run.
  • Raise £25 and students will receive all of the above plus entry for the Christmas Party (by Tuesday 15th December)

Aqua Dominate House Rowing

It was an ‘Oarsome’ week at Charles Read Academy as over 100 students across all year groups went head to head in a week long house rowing competition. Throughout the week, students represented their house teams in a series of individual and team relay races in the main hall. The atmosphere was amazing throughout the week as students supported their peers and screamed at the projector in the main hall as their house boats raced across the screen. The latest hits were sounding round the hall as students and staff chanted their house names to spur their team mates on.

It was a week to remember for Aqua as they dominated 3 out of the 5 days with victories in the year 7, year 8 and year 11 events. Aqua year 9 and year 10 also put in strong performances to claim joint top in their respective year groups as they tied with Caeli and Terra respectively. Terra finished in 2nd place and Caeli finished in 3rd place.

A fantastic effort from every single student who represented their house team in a competition that required a great amount of courage, confidence, resilience and mental toughness to overcome the physical challenges. Action shots and videos from the event will be released at the end of term in our highlights video. You can see his by following us on twitter and/or Instagram (@CRA_HouseChamp)

I'm a Teacher Get Me Out of Hear

Unfortunately due to recent circumstances the eagerly anticipated ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ House Competition has been pushed back a week to Friday 4th December. Despite the push back we still have all of the exciting trials to take place testing the courage and resilience of the great CRA staff.

We will be announcing the staff members taking part in the event early next week so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement.

Tutor Christmas Trees

Next week tutor groups will receive their Christmas trees where they have 3 weeks to collectively come up with a theme and decorate ready to bring to the house Christmas party banquet. Christmas trees will be judged with the best decorated tree receiving the lion share of 100 house points. If you have any creative ideas remember to share with your form tutor and discuss with your tutor group. Good Luck and get decorating!!

Flags of he World Quiz

This week students and staff across CRA will be faced with a ‘Flags of the World’ Quiz. Participants will have 5 minutes to identify the flags of the world followed by a tie breaker questions. This event is worth 125 house points and will take place following Geography lessons. Good luck and get revising your flags.

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

English Department Review

Curriculum update

It’s been a busy time in English this half term. Year 7 are working their way through Oliver Twist and have started putting some dedicated work into their handwriting. Year 8 are approaching the end of their Sherlock Holmes studies and are now developing their understanding of what actually makes a good detective. Year 9 finished off Animal Farm in style and are now eagerly awaiting their assessment results. GCSE students continue to work hard and, this week, had the opportunity to watch a live performance of Macbeth presented virtually via zoom! It was a very valuable experience for all of them.

Accelerated Reader also continues, and I’ve been very pleased to see how many students are regularly quizzing and changing their books. Keep it up everyone!

Miss Brealey - Head of English Faculty

Art Department

Some great work coming along in Year 7 – naturalistic drawing of a very high calibre.

Well done in particular Ruby – what a fabulous skill she displays!


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

CRA Library

Christmas has come early to the library this year, and boxes have started to arrive! We recently ordered over 100 brand-new books, with something to suit everyone, and it has been wonderful to see the students so happy as we have been able to fulfil their requests. The new books have been flying off the shelves, and there weren’t many left to show Mrs Jones when she came to look at the library last night!

Thank you for all the excellent donations we have received this term - we are very grateful. The donated books have been very popular, and filled lots of gaps in our shelves. If you have enjoyed a book, chances are that somebody else is going to enjoy it too!

Tutors have been reminding their students about missing books, and lots of them have been returned to us, which is great. Please continue to keep an eye out for any long-overdue library books – we will be very pleased to see them again.

Years 7, 8 and 9 should be quizzing on their books when they have finished them, either in class, in the library or at home (there is a link at the bottom of the students’ DRET home page). This only takes a few minutes to do and provides us with valuable information about their reading – and there will be rewards for 100% readers! There has been an issue in the last few days with some first time users seeing a message saying that capacity has been exceeded – we are aware of this, and will be sorting it as soon as possible. Students must not worry if this happens!

A few Year 10 and 11 students were surprised and delighted when I told them that they are welcome to take out library books too! We have a great selection of classic books arriving any day to support students studying for GCSEs – but we don’t just lend out the more challenging books to our older students – reading is one of the best ways to relax, and we encourage students to read any book that appeals to them! We are a reading school – not just the younger students, but older ones and members of staff, too.

Please follow @CRALibrary on Twitter for regular updates on our library!

Mrs Spilberg - TA & Librarian

Table Talk

Next week in assembly we will be talking about mental wellbeing in school and resilience. We hope you can find time over the dinner table to talk about this great quote by Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil rights activist. We want our students to learn from their past to influence their future.

Word of the Week

Pan: all, every

Panorama an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.

Pandemic (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.

Pansexual not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity

Week commencing 30th November

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 November 30th - 7 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing November 30th during period 2

Year 11 Focus

It's been another busy week for year 11s. They have completed their CVs in preparation for their Grantham Rotary club interview. Members of this club have been involved in interviewing the students remotely and then giving feedback to the students directly following the interview, about their CV and their interview technique. Students have dressed up appropriately in interview attire and approached these interviews seriously. For many of our students this is their first experience of the interview process and they have been commended upon for their professionalism, showing themselves to be enthusiastic and hardworking young adults.

Many thanks to the rotary club members for donating their time this week, to Mrs Rees and Mrs Ludlam for organising this for the students, and to you as parents and carers for your help with preparing them for these interviews. It is an experience that will support them throughout their working life, well after they leave CRA.

Also this week, the globe-players performed a live zoom version of extracts from MacBeth. Although they were in their own homes, socially distanced, they took selected scenes, used zoom backdrops and costume to bring the play to life. They also came out of character to explain Shakespeare's intentions and a historical context to the play so students could understand what a difficult play for us is to comprehend. Many thanks to Ms Brealey for organising this for them.

Finally, a reminder that their touchstone exams are the 2nd week back after Christmas, and this should give all students an indication of how much they can improve based on the mock exams and allow teachers to make accurate predictions for their GCSE results if they are needed.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

We welcome you having a look at this fantastic resource that our students will have heard about in previous assemblies.

The Kooth team are available to provide free, safe and anonymous online support and counselling. The whole team are made up of friendly and experienced individuals who want to help young people.

Just some of the things you'll find on Kooth:

  • Magazine Helpful articles, personal experiences and tips from young people.
  • Discussion Boards Start or join a conversation with the friendly Kooth community. Lots of topics to choose from!
  • Chat with the team Chat to the helpful team about anything that’s on your mind. Message or have a live chat.
  • Daily Journal Write in your own daily journal to track your feelings or emotions and reflect on how you’re doing.

The Sporting Post


Throughout this month we have seen resilience, determination, and mass amounts of participation from our students. Over 200 students have rowed for their House and more importantly their School. During this period, collectively the students have rowed 200,000 metres which is 80,000 metres over target! They have also competed for their House in the Rowing Championship. With a couple days left of November, we are excited to see how many more rows our students can complete! Final scores from our Whole School Challenge and House Challenge will be shared in next week's newsletter.

Ultimate Athlete

The DRET Ultimate Athlete Challenge will continue throughout December, finishing on Wednesday 16th. We are hoping for as many students to get involved as possible. Remember there are many activities you can complete at home, such as, the speed bounce, line stepper, forwards backwards run, side shuffle and 10metre sprints! If you’d like to get involved there will be opportunities at break and lunchtimes in School. If you’re wanting to complete some at home, please see Miss Dickson and she will hand you a score card to keep track of your scores! There will be a prize of an Under Armour backpack and jacket for the top scoring boy and girl from across the Trust so make these scores count!

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

A couple of reminders:

Students can bring a coat to wear on the bus and outside, but this must be removed as soon as they enter the Academy building. A hoodie under their blazer must be removed from getting off the bus and not put back on until boarding the bus again in the afternoon.

We have a policy of 'See it, hear it, lose it' in school for all electrical items including phones, handheld devices, ear pods, smart watches. Please ensure that your child remembers this policy is in operation as soon as your child disembarks the bus until they board it again in the afternoon.

Miss King - Assistant Principal

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:

  • DRET Virtual Rowing Cup - Wednesday 2nd December
  • I’m a Teacher – Get me Out of Here - Friday 4th December
  • Live performance of A Christmas Carol - Tuesday 15th December
  • Christmas Party: KS4 - Tuesday 15th December.
  • Christmas Party: KS3 - Wedensday 16th December
  • Santa run - Wednesday 16th December


Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • RochasBrasil - "stone rocks rock" • Hope House Press - Leather Diary Studio - "notebooks-cambridge" • geralt - "business idea planning business plan" • MichaelGaida - "machine clock time" • nblythe30 - "shakespeare london william" • cocoparisienne - "pens colored pencils colour pencils" • jarmoluk - "library book reading" • 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." • CharuTyagi - "writing journal personal diary" • stux - "football playing field corner" • viarami - "mockup screen smartphone" • Anne Nygård - "untitled image"