CRA Newsletter - 19.03.2021 Half Term 4 - march 19th 2021

Principal's Update

We have now finished the Lateral Flow Testing in school. It went very well with students being very mature and sensible about the whole process. The small team of volunteers, taken from amongst our staff, have been excellent. They have reassured students and staff and carried out the tests in accordance with the NHS guidelines. Students are now asked to self-test at home. Please see the information later in the newsletter.

This week students have had the opportunity to win a chocolate hamper if they take part in our Table Talk competition. Students have to discuss the quotation below with their family and then send a picture and a short paragraph/sentence and /or voice recording about what they discussed/thought.

Please send your entries to: housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk

This is a great opportunity to involve all the family in a house competition and to reflect on which values are important to you as a family and as individuals.

Six of our GCSE Music students took part in a composition workshop last Friday. Our students wrote miniatures for violin, clarinet, bassoon and horn. Professional musicians from the Berkley Ensemble played their pieces and discussed successes and gave advice for improvements. All our students did well and were surprised how great their pieces sounded! The students have revised and extended their compositions this week and are submitting them for a DRET competition on Monday. Each composition will be workshopped with the students present (via Zoom) and then recorded professionally in each session. The production team will then collate all the performances to form one composition concert, which will be sent to students and parents. The Berkeley Ensemble will choose their top 5 or 6 compositions to feature in our Trust-wide Music Festival Concert broadcast on YouTube on the 25th March.

I hope you have a good weekend,

Mrs Jones - Principal

Term Dates 2021-22

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

Lateral Flow Testing

In school Lateral Flow tests (for Covid) are now all complete. Since January we have completed over 1250 tests on students and staff (60% of them being done in March alone) and I'm pleased to report we have had no positive results. This is testament to everyone adhering to our strict protocols in place in respect of hygiene and following the one way systems. To all the students that have taken part in the testing process...thankyou for being so resilient.

I cannot praise my testing team highly enough for their work over this period. All the tests have been conducted swiftly and with empathy, to ensure students feel reassured and safe, whilst not impact on lesson time during a period where students need to get back to the classroom.

Home Testing

Now we have completed 3 "in school" tests, students are asked to self test at home twice per week. Test kits can be collected from school, however we appreciate some parents cannot get to Corby Glen easily. Therefore, to ensure home testing can begin next week, and unless we have received explicit instructions from parents and carers not to, we have issued test kits to all students today.

We would like students to perform tests on a Sunday and Wednesday evening, reporting the results to both the NHS and also CRA - see the letter below for further details

Did you know that parents and support bubbles of school children can now get rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week. Order yours now here.

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

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

Mr Linforth - Academy Operations Manager

CRA Values

This week all SLT presented in whole school assembly about one of the CRA values that have been important to them through their life. Mr Lovatt talked about how AMBITION had driven him on to get a degree and travel the world, Mrs Jones told us about how she had used RESILIENCE and COURAGE before her GCSE exams to support her to focus on sitting her exams. Mr Young talked about how ASPIRATION had got him to reflect on his life and aim high, completing a Masters in Education, Mr Drumm talked about having CONFIDENCE to overcome situations (like Go Ape!) and Miss King shared how RESPECT had changed for her throughout her life - from admiration as a child to respecting other peoples' beliefs and opinions as an adult.

We hope this allowed our students to see that our CRA values are values for life and not just for their time at CRA.

Device Return

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

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

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

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

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

Mr Linforth - Academy Operations Manager

Uniform expectations

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

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

Face Masks

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

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

Please visit the Careers' page on the CRA website for this weeks Careers' update and details of previous publications.

Virtual Work Experience with Unifrog

Work experience can play a big role in helping students find employment after school so it's essential students don't miss out. A 2017 Opinion Matters survey of UK business leaders found that over two thirds (68%) believe work experience helps get young people ready for the world of work and over half (57%) believe it helps instil a good work ethic.

Major employers such as PWC, JP Morgan and KPMG are running virtual work experience. One major advantage of it being online is they're able to offer more places to students than usual. Students can often participate in their own time, and without the need to be based in a specific location.

With the Easter holidays round the corner, it's a perfect time for students to start to think about work experience. As students identified finding placements as the biggest problem, we've made it easy by adding 130 virtual WEX opportunities to the Unifrog Special opportunities tool. Here's how to find them:

  1. On the Special opportunities tool, students first select which country they're from.
  2. The tool then asks which country they're interested in searching opportunities from. To find all the virtual WEX opportunities, select 'Online/ Worldwide'.
  3. Students then select up to 10 subject areas they're interested in which takes them through to the longlist.

Stamford College - Air & Defence Career College

On the 16th March our Year 11 students participated in a webinar with Sara Gibson – Course Coordinator from the Air & Defence Careers College in Stamford.

The Air & Defence Career College is an amazing opportunity to pursue a career with the RAF, or the wider aerospace industry. It enables students to complete their core academic studies, alongside full-time technical training, creating a clear pathway to an exciting, rewarding future in the following specialisms:


Students were given the opportunity to gain an insight into life as an Air & Defence student and the varied and interesting career opportunities available in the RAF and aerospace industries.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Greater Lincolnshire jobs Fair- Next live event March 25th

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

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

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

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

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

Click on BBC bitesize for some useful and practical information about post 16 choices.

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

Mrs Rees - Careers' Lead

Thinking Ahead – My Future, My Choice

Attention Year 8 & Year 9!

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

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

Each week we will show you examples of the various careers linked to the subject you are studying. This week’s career idea is ‘Jobs related to Travel and Tourism’.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Attendance Update

Parents are reminded that pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies.

Why is school attendance so important?

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

Tutor Group 100% attendance

  • Y8 have had 2 days of 100% attendance this week.
  • Aqua7, Caeli8 and Terra8 have had 4 days of 100% attendance this week.
  • 100% attendance for whole of KS3 Aqua and Terra today.

We are so proud of this achievement and this will be celebrated in our house assemblies next week. These Tutor Groups showing CRA values of Resilience and Courage.

Back to school routines

It is important that your child is ready for school every morning. Please can you make sure your child has their full school uniform, CRA6 and is ready to learn. It is very important that your child is back into their normal school routine as soon as possible including getting a good night’s sleep ready for a busy day of learning at school.

Reporting an absence to school

Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager

Library News

We have been busy in the library getting the KS3 reading books changed after lockdown, and of course talking to the students about what they have been reading. Lily, our Yr7 Million Words Reader, told me today just how close she is to becoming our first Two Million Words Reader – and then promptly took Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix(257,045 words) off the shelf to borrow! We have some really keen readers – but is there anybody in the school who can catch her now?

We have added more books to the library this week, making a total of more than 500 new AR books added since September! The once sparsely populated shelves are now almost full, and there really is something for everyone to read.

We now have a rota and a list of librarians on the library door – but if you can’t get to the library in your allotted time, let me know and I will try to help! You can return library books by leaving them on the library desk, with a tutor (if you ask them very nicely) and in exceptional circumstances I have even been known to collect and deliver from a class!

Your reviews, recommendations and requests are always welcome. We are a reading school, and we always love to know what you have been reading.

Mrs Spilberg - TA and Librarian

House News

House ‘Red Nose Day’ Competition

Today is RED NOSE DAY where many individuals and organisations up and down the country are raising money for Comic Relief. At Charles Read Academy, through the house system, we are extremely passionate about supporting charities and the local community. This year the House system has already seen CRA provide support for the local foodbanks by providing over 126 meals through our Harvest Festival House Competition.

This week students have been trying to raise money for Comic Relief, through Grantham Sainsburys, by completing a sponsored walk, run or cycle linking to the House Lockdown Cup. There is still plenty of time to enter, with the competition deadline on Friday 21st March.

It would be fantastic to see lots of take part and support a great cause. This is how you enter:

  • Linking to the House Lockdown Cup you are required to raise sponsorship money from family and/or friends to complete a walk, jog or cycle.
  • The money you raise must be submitted via the following Just Giving Page
  • Exercise must be recorded using a suitable (free) app, such as Strava and emailed to housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk
  • To complete your submission a ‘Photo’ of you carrying out your exercise must be emailed to housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk
  • The best photo will win a Easter Hamper.
  • Every person who raises £5 or more will earn 5 house points

We look forward to seeing entries and donations this weekend, Thank you in advance for your fantastic support.

House Netball Competition (NEXT WEEK)

Next Week, Monday 22nd to Friday 26th March, students across all year groups at CRA will be going head to head in House Netball. Over 100 students will be representing their house teams in a battle for the lion share of 250 house points, which could see a big change in the overall leader board. Action shots from the competition will be uploaded on the House Championships social media platforms; Twitter and Instagram - @CRA_HouseChamp throughout the week!

Mr Webb - Games Master

Table Talk

This week we are running an Easter competition for Table Talk where we are asking you to send in a photo of you at the table talking as a family (backs of heads is fine!) and a short summary of something you discussed relating to our quote about why values are important.

Hamper of Easter Treats

Please send your photos and text to housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk by 26th March to be in with a chance of winning our Easter treats!

Science Department

As a school we are continuing in our efforts to ensure all students are engaging with Tassomai, as a department it plays a key role in supporting learning. Other departments have seen the benefit of this and have began using it themselves. We are excited to see what impact using Tassomai will have on our learners, other schools such as The Stonehenge School in Wiltshire have seen spectacular impact on grades, and have been able to go a long way to closing the attainment gap. The deputy headteacher has this to say:

“We introduced Tassomai with a goal to improve our science results from the lowest 20% in the country to being at the national average - in fact we are now in the top 20% in the country!”

Please remember it is not too late to sign up for parental reports

Miss Robinson - Science Teacher

Word of the Week

Ject: Cast, throw - (Greek word root)

Interject say (something) abruptly, especially as an aside or interruption.

Trajectory the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces

Deject make sad or dispirited; depress.

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 22nd March - 6 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 22nd March during period 5

Year 11 Focus

As we get to the end of the term, it is great to see how focused year 11 are. It is important to share how we are going to complete a teacher assessed grades, and all departments have decided this information so the individual plans can be shared with students. We are going to complete at least 2 pieces of evidence before Easter in all departments to add to the portfolio of evidence.

We will continue teaching and revising content (although we will not introduce any new content now) and continue to collect evidence until we perform unseen assessments in May which will be the final pieces used for this evidence.

Teachers, SLT and Trust Leads will moderate these pieces of evidence and use them to create the Teacher Assessed Grade, which is an evidence based grade of what level the student currently is.

It is important that students achieve a good balance of relaxation and revision over the Easter holiday. Staff will inform students about key topics they need to revise to support their portfolio of evidence, for their teacher assessed grades.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

Your roles at home, work and in your community may have changed a lot during lockdown because of coronavirus (COVID-19). And you may be using your home and other spaces in different ways than you're used to. This can be challenging so it's important to make time to talk about what would work best for your family and check how everyone is feeling. We hope this link proves some support in helping you do that.

The Sporting Post

PE Kit Expectations

Whilst many students have purchased the new PE kit and they do look incredibly smart there are a number of students who are wearing their own clothes to PE lessons. This is not permitted within the school rules, much like not having your CRA 6 this results in a sanction, in this case a pastoral detention.

Pupils should have the following kit as compulsory items (as per the uniform policy on the website):

  • CRA PE Shorts
  • CRA PE Socks
  • CRA House PE top
  • CRA House Hoodie
  • Trainers/Astroturf trainers or moulded football boots
  • Shin pads/gum shield - as required

Pupils can also use the following additional items:

  • CRA PE Track pants
  • CRA PE Leggings
  • Plain black skins/leggings are allowed to be worn, but must be under navy shorts.
  • No logos/writing/labels

Pupils are NOT allowed to wear their own coats/tracksuit bottoms for PE lessons and must purchase the CRA branded hoodie if they wish to wear something over their House PE Top.

Pupils in receipt of free school meals are entitled to support with the purchasing of PE kit should finances be an issue, please contact the school regarding this. Please find the link below to the ordering portal.

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

Mr Lovatt - Head of Performance Faculty

Dates for your diary

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

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


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