CRA Newsletter AutumN Term 1 - September 18th 2020

Principal's Update

Our enrichment started this week with large numbers of students flocking to sport and art. Other offers included computing, choir, keyboard club, dance and academic prep. Students will remain in these choices until the 20th October. They will then be able to choose an alternative club for the following half-term. Year 11 worked hard in small intervention groups with staff helping them to build on their year 10 knowledge and address gaps they have as a result of the pandemic.

This week saw our first House competition with the House Limbo. This is always a fun event and it was pleasing that we could run a socially distanced event that meant that students still got the opportunity to participate in the competition.

To help us celebrate harvest students are also collecting house coloured food items to go into the House hampers that we take down to the food bank. We will not be visiting the church this year due to issues arising from COVID.

Please remind your son/daughter to come fully equipped with their CRA6 everyday, as we are not sharing general classroom equipment. On a weekly basis we are reminding students about the revised systems in place and they is a calm, settled feel in the academy.

I wish you and your family a lovely weekend.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

Next week we are talking to students about competence and how they know if they are good at something as well as how they can find out what they need to do to improve. One of our student traits is 'inform the teacher if you don't understand' and we really want to instil in our students that its ok to ask for help. We want to help them to understand that in having the confidence and courage to do so, they will make progress and understand their learning more.

Competence is one of the 7 C's of resilience we have been introducing our students to this academic year.

Curriculum Update

This year we have organised for all students to have access to Tassomai for the academic year 2020-21. Every student at CRA will be required to complete a minimum of 4 daily goals per week.

Tassomai is an online learning program which uses the educational principles of spacing, interleaving and targeted repetition to help students improve their grades. It works by spreading their learning into bite-sized chunks over as long a period of time as possible. As students answer questions the site begins to learn where their strengths and weaknesses are, allowing the site to target specific gaps in their knowledge - but also making it easier for our teachers to see where your child might need some extra help. Tassomai will support your son/daughter with the KS3/4 Science curriculum but also KS4 English Literature.

Students can use Tassomai on any internet enabled device, and there’s an app which is completely free to download from both the App Store and the Google Play Store.

To find out more about Tassomai we’d recommend watching this video. You can also visit the Tassomai website or get in touch with them by emailing admin@tassomai.com or calling 020 3380 7968.

Please can you support and encourage your son/daughter to engage with the software and complete the assigned units.

Career's Corner

At Charles Read Academy careers entitlement is a journey that starts in Year 7 and continues through to Year 11. Students have access to a variety of materials and have the opportunity to meet employers. Students access a range of careers and enterprise activities organised by the Academy. This is to support students in making well informed decisions. Parents play a vital role in supporting their children in making decisions about their future and the Academy is committed to working together with parents.

The following Top Ten websites provide a wealth of information that should help inform and support parents:

  • Careers Advice For Parents
  • UK Careers
  • Parent Adviser
  • Parental Guidance Careers information and advice for parents and carers from the Careers Writers Association.
  • Notgoingtouni Aims to help young people make informed decisions about their future by showing the opportunities that exist outside of traditional university such as apprenticeships, sponsored degrees, gap years, distance learning and jobs. It hosts hundreds of video case studies, up-to-date careers news and downloadable lesson plans.
  • Amazing Apprentices
  • UCAS
  • Careers Wales an excellent site to search for numerous careers and jobs
  • Gov.UK This is the one stop shop for information on apprenticeships. It has separate information sections for young people, parents, employers and partners. Mainly written information but there are some video clips. Young people can use the vacancy section of the site to search and apply for live opportunities.
  • The World of Work was set up by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP – the voice of the local business community- to promote employment opportunities in Greater Lincolnshire. There are free resources to help you find more information on a particular career path, industry or employer.

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

Attendance Update

Well Done to Aqua11 who had fantastic 100% attendance last week 7th-11th September 2020.

We are committed to promoting positive wellbeing and academic success, so where a student is not attending the academy regularly (for any reason) meaning they are missing vital learning, we will work closely with parents and carers to support students as best as we can. Of utmost importance to us is that regular communication with parents is maintained so we can continue to support our students learning and emotional needs if they are not able to attend.

We ask you to support the school and your child/children by:

Ensuring that you contact the school by 8:30am on each day your child is unable to attend and understand that medical evidence may be requested if their attendance means they are missing a significant amount of learning.

Where possible, arranging appointments outside of the academy day and if this is not possible, inform the Academy of any forthcoming appointments.

Providing at least two up to date contact telephone numbers to ensure the school are able to contact you (parent/carer/family member)

Avoid arranging holidays during term time. Holidays will not be authorised and only leave of absence in exceptional circumstances can be authorised at the discretion of the Principal. Parents should make any leave of absence requests 4 weeks in advance.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to help your child fulfil their potential. If your child is anxious about school or you have any concerns that you would like to discuss with us please do not hesitate to contact the school.

Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager

House News


The Atmosphere was buzzing around CRA this week as students and staff took part in the first house competition of the year Limbo. Despite organisational challenges presented by COVID-19 the first competition was a roaring success. Different to last year, the Limbo was split over two lunchtimes to allow social distancing and year groups to participate and support in their bubbles. It was clear to see students were excited for the competitions to start again as the hall was buzzing with excitement. The year 7s in particular really did bring the noise, creating a party atmosphere as they chanted and cheered on their house teams - Music was playing and house teams were on their feet dancing, getting involved and having an amazing time.

Limbo Participants

The competition saw 15 students and 3 members of staff across the academy represent their house teams in a knockout style event. As the limbo pole lowered after each round the suspense increased as students were slowly eliminated one by one. After a number of competitive rounds it was Brianna in Terra 8 who was crowed the KS3 champion and Courtney in Aqua 10 who won the KS4 competition, for the 2nd year in a row. As the event was split over 2 days the points will be awarded for the best overall team performance, which will be announced in assembly next week.

A huge well done to everyone who represented their house. Competitions still to take place this term are; Portrait Artist, Football and The Chase Quiz – more details to follow.

Final call for harvest festival donations – Please remember to bring in any donations for your house on Monday.

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 the turn of Mr Lovatt our Head of Visual and Performing Arts Faculty & Whole School Teaching and Learning Lead

I have joined CRA following three years working as an international teacher in Malaysia as the Head of Secondary PE. Prior to that I worked at another of the DRET schools, Skegness Grammar School. The opportunity to rejoin DRET with its excellent sports provision and opportunities was something that I couldn’t pass up when the opportunity arose.

I am looking forward to developing the schools sporting provision further and helping to continue the success achieved so far. I will also be working with staff to develop teaching and learning across the school, something which I have a real passion for.

Outside of school I enjoy a range of sporting activities but I am most actively involved in football and golf, as well as enjoying running. I also like to read when time allows, I am currently reading Ghostheart by R.J Ellory.

Mr Lovatt - Head of Visual and Performing Arts Faculty

Department Updates

Food Technology

We have had an amazing start to the year in Food Technology.

The Year 10 pupils have thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to their Food GCSE and they completely immersed themselves into the challenge of making an enriched, shaped bread dough.

We were studying bread alongside the topic of nutrition and healthy eating.

You can see some fabulous results in the photographs below, and the whole school could smell the delicious aroma of baking bread.

Mrs Rees - Food Technology Teacher

The Canteen

Following an Environmental Health (EHO) inspection this week, we're delighted to announce that the Canteen at CRA continues to hold a 5 star rating.

This is testament to the hard work of Adrian, Lisa and Julia from Caterlink. And the support of Martin Simmons & Carl Hailey of the CRA site team.

Congratulations to you all.

Table Talk

Next week our focus in whole school assembly is on leadership so we would love for you to have some meaningful conversations over the weekend about what it takes to be a good leader.

What makes a good leader?

Word of the Week

Cosm: Universe, world, order (Greek word root)

Cosmos the universe seen as a well-ordered whole

Microcosm a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.

Cosmology the science of the origin and development of the universe.

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 September 21st 8 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing September 21 during period 3

Year 11 Focus

This week Year 11 students have been doing Touchstone Assessments in their subjects. These knowledge-based assessments are to inform the students and their teachers where their gaps in learning are. This allows our staff to tailor their curriculum to the gaps in knowledge of the class in front of them, and for students to know where their gaps are so they can start their revision early to make sure that they have a secure basis of knowledge to build upon.

Although all assessments are stressful, these tests are not about making a judgement on a student's ability and giving them a grade. Students cannot pass or fail these tests. Knowledge of where a student has missed work, has not grasped a concept, or has forgotten it is important to allow us to catch up the lost time over lockdown and to make excellent progress this year.

Teen Support

We are continuing to see some happy smiling student faces since we all returned to school.

However, we know that not every student feels able to smile at the moment and that some are even hiding behind the smile.

As the pastoral managers we would urge you to talk to your children about their current feelings and let us know if you have concerns.

At the lowest level we tend to deal with the concerns by having a chat with individual students over break or lunch.

Where the concerns are slightly greater we can do some more focused work with the student which might include parents coming into school for a pastoral meeting so that all concerns are shared and the student is reassured that everybody is working together in their interests- at home and at school.

One of the best ways though that a lot of students are dealing with their own concerns is sharing them with friends. If friends are concerned, they are also telling us.

So, I would urge you to see that regular attendance at school is one of the best ways of building resilience in our students.

The Sporting Post

Table Tennis Performance Centre

Our new Table Tennis scholars are settling in well after being at our academy for over a week now. Raquel, Jake and Adam have been training hard this week at Grantham College. In addition to training, they have been participating in some reaction training to aid their development. To hear from our scholars head over to our Table Tennis Performance Centre Twitter page (@CRA_TTPC). You will find a video where all three of our scholars talk about how they are settling back into training and academy life.

Sports Enrichment

Our enrichment programme started this week. Over 150 students had the opportunity to take part in sports sessions, whilst staying within their year group bubbles. This term we are offering a variety of sports such as Football, Netball, Rugby, Hockey and Rowing. In addition to this, our students have been busy playing Football and Netball during their lunch break.

Rowing Challenge 2020

Next week our Year 7 students will start the DRET Year 7 Rowing Challenge. This is a virtual, trust-wide competition. All Year 7 students from across the trust will complete a 2-minute row. The results will be collected from each academy and an overall winner will be announced. We are particularly excited about this challenge as it highlighted some exceptionally talented students when we took part last year. Isobel Green and Jess O’Callaghan both earned themselves a medal at the DRET Rowing Cup. Isobel then went on to win the Year 7 girl’s race at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships, making her the national champion!

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

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Dates for your diary

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

Our focus next week is:

  • Harvest Festival Week


Created with images by Trung Pham Quoc - "untitled image" • Sean Stratton - "My trip up and down the Great Smoky Mountains." • Nikita Kachanovsky - "On my eames" • Markus Winkler - "Update" • Elaine Casap - "Tomato Garden" • 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" • Anne Nygård - "untitled image"