CRA Newsletter - 21.05.2021 Half Term 5 - May 21st 2021

Principal's Update

Year 11 Alternative Curriculum Programme

As you may be aware the Department for Education has instructed schools that Year 11 students should remain in school until the 25th of June. All students at CRA will have completed their GCSE assessments by May half term, although there may be some follow up information or additional assessment required in certain circumstances up until the 17th June. Having the students in school on a number of days gives us this flexibility and opportunity to make sure the students do as well as possible in their centre assessed grades.

As a result we have designed a three week curriculum to support students as they move on to the next stage of their education and to leave lasting legacy at CRA. From the 7th to the 25th June year 11 students will be involved in a three week alternative curriculum programme. Some parts of it will be carried out at home, whilst the majority will be in school. The rationale for the programme is to develop skills outside the academic curriculum, to encourage our young people to try something new, to leave a lasting legacy at CRA, to further support the development of their employability skills, and to have fun.

The programme will focus on employability skills, careers including visiting speakers, transferrable life skills, work experience, a community project and sporting activities.

During the first week students will be in school on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday focussing on employability skills. There will be a visiting speaker to support students with developing important skills employers are looking for. On Tuesday and Thursday they will be given a task to complete at home.

The following week students will be involved in a House community project on the site of CRA, renovating the poly tunnels and a number of raised beds which will become House beds. This will be a lasting legacy of the 2016 cohort and a CRA commemoration of the challenging times during COVID. The first two days of this week will be spent at home planning which plants and vegetables would flourish in Corby Glen soil. From Wednesday onwards, students will then clear beds, visit a garden centre to purchase plants for their agreed planting scheme and then plant up the beds.

The last week will be a work experience week where we will be encouraging students to go to work with their parents/carers/family members, (arranged by the student’s family) or come into CRA or a local primary school, where possible, to work alongside staff for a brief experience of the world of work. This will be from Monday to Thursday.

On Friday the students will have their leaving assembly. Students should arrive at school on the bus and then there will be a range of fun activities planned for the students, including ‘I’m a Year 11 Get me Out of Here’ and the leaving assembly. The day will finish at 12.30pm for the year 11.

We are then asking for students to be picked up from school. If you cannot pick your child up please arrange for them to have a lift with another student.

If you are unable to arrange collection of your child, they will remain in school till the end of the day completing computer based activities to support and develop their knowledge regarding the world of work and careers.

Please do not hesitate to contact the academy on the CRAenquiries@charlesreadacademy.co.uk email address is you have any questions regarding the three week programme.

This week at CRA

As ever the week has been busy with students involved in House rounder activities, year 11 assessments, PSHCE drop-down sessions and art activities. We had a great start to the week with the year 10 drama group performing their devised piece focusing on mental health. Students really enjoy seeing their peers perform. This coming week one of our year 7 students will be performing a piece on their clarinet.

If there are parents who are proficient on an instrument, (I know we have at least one parent who plays in a rock band and a pianist) it would be a great experience for our students if you could come in and perform in our assembly.

I hope you have a relaxing weekend,

Mrs Jones - Principal

Term Dates 2021-22

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

Year 10 Mock Exams

In just over 11 months the current year 10 students will be taking their GCSE exams. The outcome of these exams will determine what they are able to do in the next stage of their education, training, or employment.

Please review the attached letter that gives all the information required ahead of half term to help support with revision, and plans for the exams themselves.

If you need any further advice or support regarding your Mock Exams please do not hesitate to speak to your teachers, your form tutors, or members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Home Lateral Flow Testing

We would like students to perform tests on a Sunday and Wednesday evening, reporting the results via these links to both the NHS and also CRA.

If you require further kits, students can collect these from reception.

Did you know that parents and support bubbles of school children, as well as anyone who has to leave home to go to work, 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

National Book Tokens

This year we have added nearly 600 books to the school library, with a couple of large orders of new books, some very generous donations, and a lot of charity shop and eBay buys. However, we could still do with more! I have a wish list of book requests that I would love to be able to fulfil, to keep our students reading.

Please will you nominate CRA for a chance to win these book tokens? The more nominations we have, the more of a chance there is of us winning - but as a small school in terms of pupil numbers, we need all your help on this initiative. Please click on the link below to nominate CRA.

Mrs Spilberg - TA & Librarian

CRA Values

This week our Year 10 students showed real Confidence and Courage in their drama piece they presented to the rest of the Academy in whole school assembly on Monday. Here Miss Elsby explains about the piece:

"On Monday 17th May a Year 10 GCSE drama group which consisted of performers: Courtney, Kiesha, Alex and Keane and lighting designer Beth, had the great opportunity of performing in the hall to a full audience. The group shared their component 2 performance, which is the devising section of their GCSE examination. The performance was fully created by the group who have worked hard over the last 5 weeks to research their chosen mental health topic in detail, to develop a successful piece that they wanted to share with the rest of the school.

The performance focused on their chosen practitioner's work, educating audiences, and the piece highlighted areas such as: stereotypes, suicide, verbal abuse, which got the audience thinking about the powerful messages that came across. The CRA value of confidence shone through in their performance and the drama department looks forward to sharing more work with the rest of the Academy."

Miss Elsby - Drama & Dance Teacher

Uniform expectations

It is 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.

Outdoor coats

Outdoor coats can be worn during breaks and before and after school, but should not be worn when walking inside the academy. May we also remind you that hoodies are not appropriate, and shouldn’t be worn as a replacement for an outdoor coat.

Face Masks

Masks are required to be worn on all school transport, during transitions between lessons and in 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.

Wearing a mask at school is compulsory, unless your child has a medical lanyard. Masks should be blue or black and plain and worn at all times whilst inside the school buildings. If a child refuses to wear their mask they will be sent to the COVID isolation room and parents will be called to collect them. This is a non-negotiable and for everyone's safety.

Careers' Corner

How to find out more about your Future Career

Since September we have been making huge strides forward with the variety of careers guidance that you have been receiving. We have been using the Eight Gatsby foundation benchmarks as our foundation and we believe that every young person needs high quality careers guidance to make informed decisions about their future.

We bring careers into the curriculum in year 7 and deliver a program all the way up to year 11. The world of work is constantly changing – now more so than ever, and many of the jobs available are changing too. This is why it is so important that you as pupils in the school regularly update your interests and profiles on Unifrog and are using the career corner in the library to help with your choices.

Please take the time to look at the following resource with your parents.

On this site you can have a look through an amazing quantity of potential career opportunities- please take the time to look at some of the information on there and hopefully you will find something that will inspire and guide you as you start planning your career journey.

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

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 Science’.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Attendance Update

Celebrating Tutor Group attendance 8th March to 21st May 2021

Caeli8 are leading the way with amazing attendance of 98.14%

100% Tutor Group attendance this week

Terra7 had 4 days of 100% attendance this week and Aqua7, Aqua8, Caeli8 have all had 3 days of 100% attendance this week.

We are so proud of these achievements and this will be celebrated in our house assemblies next week. These Tutor Groups are showing all our CRA values, but especially RESILIENCE and AMBITION

Are you a CRA HERO?

‘CRA HERO Challenge’ is our new school initiative which started on Monday 17th May 2021. We have completed week one of this challenge and start week2 on Monday 24th May. We are focusing on attendance and being HERE EVERY DAY

There will be three rounds of our ‘CRA HERO Challenge’ attendance. Selected students will complete round one over the next two weeks. These students will receive a CRA HERO CHALLENGE card as below. Every day a student is in school, their Tutor will sign their CRA HERO CHALLENGE card. At the end of the two weeks, there will be a CRA reward.

Please support your child in attending every day.

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.

Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager

House News

House Rounders hit by rain

Due to the rain fall this week, year 7, year 10 and year 11 competitions have been rescheduled for next week. The year 8 and year 9 teams were lucky to avoid the bad weather and were able to play their round of matches.

It is Aqua who have started the competition the strongest, holding on to a narrow lead over Terra and Caeli in joint positions. A victory for Terra in the year 8 competition got them off to a perfect start before being pegged back by Aqua 9 who went unbeaten to dominate their round of matches. With only 15 points the difference between each of the houses in the race for the house championship there is so much at stake!

Fingers crossed the weather improves so the outstanding games can be played before half term.

CRA does ‘The Cube’

We are extremely excited to be delivering our very own version of ITV’s hit gameshow ‘The Cube’ next week, a brand new house competition added to this year’s programme.

The competition will follow the same format as seen on TV with 6 participants in each house taking on the cube. Each house will have 9 lives to try and complete 6 challenges and in return will receive house points for each completed challenge. House points will vary from 10 to 250 points, with more points available to win as more challenges are complete.

This is due to take place in the main hall with a student audience. Do not miss out on the excitement and show your support for the participants representing your house.

Follow us on the House social media platforms, Twitter and Instagram, for all the latest news and results from each event including action shots from the competitions - @CRA_HouseChamp

Mr Webb - Games Master

Reward and Recognition

On Wednesday 20th May five tutor groups; Aqua7, Caeli7, Terra7, Caeli8 and Aqua11 received their Assistant Principals' reward. After reaching the ‘Assistant Principal Reward’ section on their Houseopoly boards, students in each of the tutor groups were visited by the Ice Cream Van and treated to a 99’ flake ice cream – which went down a treat with everyone.

Head Boy, Ciaran and Head Girl, Sophie said:

It’s great to see so many students receiving their Assistant Principals' reward and it shows how hard tutor groups have been working together to reach this reward. To reach this reward so soon shows each tutor group have been displaying the CRA core values throughout the academy and have excellent attendance. As head boy and girl it is great to share this reward with so many students across the academy. Well done everyone and thank you Miss King.

Each tutor group have a ‘Houseopoly’ board (as seen in image) displayed in their tutor room and throughout the year each group have been making their way around the board. To move around the board tutor groups receive cards from their Heads of House in various ways including recognition for excellent attendance, displaying the CRA core values and achieving positive behaviour points.

Students have really engaged with the boards with every tutor group on track to completing their journey before the end of the academic year. Along the way tutor groups reach different milestones including Tutor Reward, Head of House reward and Assistant Principal Reward before the big one, the Principals' Reward which every group are striving to achieve. We are looking forward to seeing which tutor group reaches this reward first – Good Luck!

Mr Webb - Games Master


Before Christmas we collated names for those who were interested in the academy purchasing scientific calculators at the reduced price of £8. There are still some students that haven't collected and paid for their order.

Can I ask you to send the payment before the end of term to the reception. We can then issue and ensure every student is fully equipped for their math's and science lessons with a device that will assist their learning opportunities.

Mr Drumm- Assistant Principal

Table Talk

Now we are officially able to hug again, we wanted you think about what a hug means to people.

We hope over the weekend you will have some time at the dinner table to talk about what a hug means to you and why connecting with people supports your wellbeing as well as how you could possible do more connecting with others over your May holiday.

Word of the Week

Min: less, smaller (Latin word root)

  • Minus with the subtraction of.
  • Miniscule extremely small; tiny.
  • Minim a note having the time value of two crotchets or half a semibreve, represented by a ring with a stem.

Watch this short video on types of music notes:

Did you know: a minim was also the name of a tiny Roman coin.

Miss Brealey - Head of English Faculty

Science Spot

The Science Faculty would like to share with you some practical and interesting slides to make you think - this week its all about The Chemistry of Chocolate

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Transition & SEN

Please review the poster below in regard to Autistic Masking that you may find of interest.

Please see below the upcoming transition events for current year 6 students. Its an exciting time for CRA and were looking forward to welcoming our new students to the academy over the coming weeks.

Mrs Dexter - HLTA & Transition Lead

Library Update

There was huge excitement in the library on Thursday lunchtime, with two of our very best readers going head-to-head to see which of them was going to be our next Million Words Reader - and, watched by several of their classmates, they both passed their quizzes and achieved this within moments of each other!

By 1.35 Bailey (Aqua 9) had earned himself a grand total of 1,016,453 words, and by 1.38 Jamie (Caeli 9) had earned himself a total of 1,011,839 words! This is an enormous achievement, particularly as both students have been reading increasingly challenging texts. Please congratulate them!

Many thanks to the students and members of staff who have donated books in the last couple of weeks. We have now added 602 books since September, including lots of student requests, and there is fierce competition for some of these! It is wonderful to hear the students talking about their favourite books and recommending them to their friends, and quite a challenge to keep up with the demand!

Mrs Spilberg - TA & Librarian

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 24th May - 12 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 24th May during period 1

Year 11 Focus

Year 11 Art students have been working hard this week on their two day Art assessment to complete their final projects.

Freya W

This makes up a significant portion of the marks they are awarded and will go towards their final awarded grade.

Joe C
Jamie M

As you can see pupils have created some excellent work, Mr Parker is very proud of the work ethic and creativity that has been shown to produce these outstanding final pieces.

Ava K
Ellie R

Mr Lovatt - Head of Performance Faculty

Post May Half Term - Year 11 Curriculum

As you may be aware the DfE have instructed schools that pupils should remain in school until the 25th of June, all pupils at CRA will have finished the GCSE assessments by May half term, so as a result we have designed a three week curriculum to support and students as they move on to the next stage of their education and to leave a lasting legacy at CRA.

  • The first week is designed around employability skills and entering the job market, we have secured an outside speaker to deliver 6 sessions throughout the week, alongside this they will also be involved sports and life skills opportunities, pupils will be on site on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, on Tuesday and Thursday they will be working from home on set tasks.
  • The second week will be linked to the house system, pupils will spend Wednesday, Thursday and Friday rejuvenating and replanting our raised bed areas and polytunnel to leave behind something that can be used again by future CRA pupils. Pupils will work at home on Monday and Tuesday of that week planning and designing the raised beds in house colours.
  • The third week will be a work experience week, pupils will be encouraged to find work experience opportunities through family and friends, there may be some opportunity for school to provide placements either at CRA or at our local primary schools, all pupils will be invited back into school on Friday the 25th for their leavers assembly. The school day will finish for pupils at 12.30 on this day and collection will need to be organised at this time.

A full schedule will be provided shortly, we are also preparing for the Y11 prom, behaviour during this three week period will be taken into consideration when deciding if pupils are allowed to attend their prom.

If pupils are able to secure a three week work placement then they can do this as an alternative to the three weeks, a letter has been sent via MCAS to parents to sign to confirm that this is taking place and will provide evidence to support attendance for the three weeks.

A copy of the consent and agreement for the work experience can be found below:

Mr Lovatt - Head of Performance Faculty

Teen Support

More and more our students talk to us about Tiktok and what videos they are sharing. This is a great platform for allowing our young people to be creative and express themselves, but we want them, as you do, to remain safe online. Please find this useful guide to Tiktok so you can have that conversation with your child about their account and how they use it.

The Sporting Post

Miss Dickson - Sports Enrichment Officer

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 Wokandapix - "classroom school education" • tigerlily713 - "calendar date time" • F1Digitals - "man men hand" • LubosHouska - "books bookstore book" • Peggy_Marco - "financial equalization help stock exchange" • geralt - "road sign town sign success" • geralt - "dream job application location" • m_ming - "chalk colorful dust" • matsi1612 - "ice ice cream fruit ice cream" • DG-RA - "algebra arithmetic calculator" • Wild0ne - "typewriter vintage write" • kkolosov - "analysis biochemistry biologist" • geralt - "change new beginning risk" • Veronika_Andrews - "books heart pages" • geralt - "learn mathematics child" • Alexas_Fotos - "stickies post-it list" • geralt - "skills can startup" • truthseeker08 - "hand united together" • Pexels - "action athletes competition" • Sarajulhaq786 - "end new year calendar celebrate celebration"