CRA Newsletter - 10.09.2021 Half Term 1 - september 10th 2021

Principal's Update

We have had an excellent start to the term with the staff and students quickly getting back into our CRA routines. It was so delightful to see all the year groups back and see students across year groups mixing. It has been wonderful to welcome our new year 7s and see them settling in so well. I have been particularly proud of the year 11 students who have made an excellent start to the term demonstrating a very mature approach to their work and to welcoming our new students into our community.

Some of the year 11 students, on seeing the new year 7 students wanting to play football but without a ball, asked them if they wanted to join them in their game. Many of our students have supported year 7 students if they have been lost or not clear about how to do something and we have had some very positive feedback from parents about the transition process.

We were thrilled that in the summer over 50 of our students from years 7 to 9 went on a residential to the National Forest. 25 years ago, large swathes of the Midlands landscape that had been used for coal mining and other heavy industry was transformed by a passionate group of people who had a vision for a forest. The first forest to be created at scale in England for over 1000 years, it transformed and literally turned the landscape from black to green.

The students stayed in the YHA there for an all-inclusive experience. They participated in a range of activities including Hi and Lo ropes, climbing walls, tobogganing, ice skating and orienteering. Students followed a timetable of additional literacy and numeracy in the morning, participated in events during the afternoon and early evening and then enjoyed time at the youth hostel with amongst other things a film night, a quiz and a football match.

The photos I have seen clearly show that the students and staff had a wonderful time. One of the many things staff commented on and were so pleased to see was the mixing of year groups with students making friends across a range of ages.

This coming week sees the start of our new homework policy. A new page is being created on the website under Parent Information for a video to remind students and show parents how the homework should be completed. The homework policy will also be available on there in addition to our policy page.

We are aiming to make it as simple and straight forward as possible for students to complete their homework, for you to support them with this and for staff to follow up if it has not been completed. Students who do not complete their homework will get a same day 20 minute detention at lunchtime. We are keen to show students how to revise and the best strategies for retaining information and the new prep and homework sessions facilitate this.

We start our house competitions with the house limbo next week and look forward to all our students getting involved in one or more house competitions going forward.

I hope you have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Jones - Principal


The return to school has seen an exciting new menu at Charles Read provided by Caterlink, which you can view by clicking the link below.

Whilst the new students have settled in and are getting used to the service, and payment processes, and with increasing numbers using the canteen (which is fantastic), we extended the lunchtime temporarily.

However, we will be reminding students about coming directly to the canteen when called, and ensure they enjoy their food in the time allocated to reduce any delays for subsequent year groups.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the catering service at the Academy please dont hesitate to contact us so we can discuss with Caterlink.

Parent Pay

If you need a Parent Pay login so your child can add monies to the payment facility, please contact the office for a username, then follow the notes in the attachment below

Mr Linforth - Academy Operations Manager

Home Lateral Flow Testing

The return to school testing has gone extremely well over the past week and I'm glad to say that we are now complete.

Thankfully we reported no positive cases, and given this result its even more important that students and staff continue to test twice weekly to keep ours community safe and in school.

When you complete lateral flow tests at home on a Sunday and Wednesday evening, please report 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


Homework will commence on Monday 13th September 2021. We wish to make sure that our students are fully settled into academy life and that they have adequate time to prepare and practice the homework expected activities.

YEAR 7-11

All students will complete a prep style homework activity each night, this will consist of self-quizzing using knowledge organisers (KO) (or a revision guide at KS4 please ensure you have purchased the full range of subjects for your child, available from Reception. Students in receipt of FSM will be given a set.)

Homework books will be checked by tutors each morning; any student who has incomplete homework or homework that is not of the correct standard will be given a homework detention for that lunch time.

Key Stage 4 - Additional Homework

Students in year 10 and 11 will also be given one additional piece of homework per subject, this is at the teachers/department’s discretion.

Full details of all additional homework tasks will be recorded on Student Portal. Please contact the Admin team if you are struggling with logging in to student portal. Students should always log in using the student log in and not the parent log in as some functionality will be lost with the latter.

Frequency of homework

On Monday staff will be checking that the homework from Friday, Saturday and Sunday has been completed.

Short video on homework expectations can be found on the CRA website or by clicking the link below:

Please talk to your child about this new approach to homework and the consequences if they don’t complete it or don’t complete it to a satisfactory standard.

Mrs Cooper -Teaching & Learning Lead

CRA Values

It's been great to have our students back in the academy this week exhibiting all their CRA values from the word go!

Our Year 7s have had to show real COURAGE this week with transitioning to secondary school and it's been great to welcome them and see them becoming part of our CRA community.

Our Year 11s have been exhibiting ASPIRATION in their attitude to learning by showing a real focused start of their final year at CRA. We look forward to Monday whole school assembly and finding out about the CRA Summer Camp and all the exciting new experiences that our students had the opportunity to take part in.

Lots of them were a real test of RESILIENCE and we know this will have a positive impact on their new academic year.

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 recommended 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.

Masks should be blue or black and plain and worn at all times whilst inside the school buildings.

Careers' Corner

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

I am excited to join CRA in the capacity of Head of Faculty and Careers lead. I will be working hard to build on the fantastic work started by my predecessor.

I am still getting to know the students and I must say I have been overwhelmed by the courage and initiative CRA students have demonstrated in their learning. I am in no doubt that most of them will have great careers ahead of them.

I believe that choosing GCSE subjects is the first career decision and as such we will be helping and supporting our year 9s throughout this process in order to get this right.

In my everyday conversations with students, I encourage them to think about their skills and qualities, likes and dislikes and their preferred learning style and also to start discussing any future career ideas they may have.

I am aware most students aren’t sure about what you want to do yet so it is important they make decisions that will keep their options open for the future.

During the careers week, I will be offering drop-in sessions in school over break or lunchtimes.

You can help too by talking to your child about their ideas – research suggests parents and carers are the single biggest influence on young people's careers choices.

Please visit the Careers' page on the CRA website for our extensive careers programme and details of previous publications.

Mr Otchere - 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 Animal Care '

Mr Otchere - Career's Lead


Mrs Coleman - Attendance Manager

Welcome to CRA

Mr E Otchere Head of Science & Technology Faculty and Careers Lead

I started my teaching career in 2010 in Milton Keynes as a science teacher. Due to my tenacity and drive for success, I quickly developed into an outstanding teacher and took on the role of acting subject leader of science (maternity cover) within 3 years of my teaching career.

During this time, I worked hard to raise student attainment and progress. I also supported staff to develop and I completed my middle leader training within this time. After 4 successful years in Milton Keynes, I moved to my second school in Northamptonshire where I spent 6 years until joining CRA in Sept 2021.

After 6 years in my last school in different leadership capacities, I felt the time was right for me to seek a new challenge in a new environment and I must say my first few days at CRA has been very enjoyable.

A bit about me…

Born in Ghana, I have travelled to and lived in different parts of the world; Kenya, Belgium, France, Denmark, Canada, USA just to mention a few.

I have lots of personal qualities which has made me successful in my career. I am a team player, approachable, flexible, kind, resilient, caring, assertive, hard-working, reliable and honest. With different postgraduate qualifications under my belt and pushing for my PhD, I am very adept with research and subject knowledge in my field.

I bring to CRA a lot of experience acquired in my career and my personal life.

I believe CRA and my students will benefit immensely from my experience and skills and together we will be successful at CRA. I have a personal ambition of wanting to make a difference in the lives of young people.

With a genuine passion for education, I believe in the potential of every student regardless of their background. I believe students who are taught well to develop personality and character will go on to become successful adults in later life. I am very passionate about the quality of education and have a clear understanding of how students learn. I am aware of the barriers to learning and how teachers can help minimise these barriers.

Outside of school, I work with a local youth group in my community helping them to deal with peer pressure and supporting them to make informed life choices and decisions.

Though I can’t read music I have learnt to play the drums, piano, bass guitar and the djembes (African drums).

I am looking forward to working with the students and enjoying my time at CRA.

House News

2021-22 House Championship – Competition List

We are extremely excited for another action packed House Championship at Charles Read Academy this year. We are delighted to be offering up to 40 house competitions across the year, offering a wide range of opportunities for all to get involved in. Competitions scheduled to take place this year can be seen in the image attached.

At Charles Read we are proud to provide an accessible and enjoyable House System which boasts a whole school participation of 91% who represented their house team in at least one competition last year. This year promises to be even bigger, with the introduction of a number of new house competitions.

The first competition to officially kick off this year’s House Championship is Limbo which will take place in the main hall with an audience, during lunch time on Friday 17th September. If you are interested in representing your house in this competition or any other on the schedule please make sure you speak to your tutor and/or Head of House.

Apply now for a student leadership role

Once again we are delighted to be able to provide opportunities for a number student leadership positions this academic year, including positions for Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl, House Captains, Year Group Leaders, Sports Captains and more…

This is a fantastic opportunity, which can be used to support future job, college or university applications etc.

We actively encourage and invite applications from students across all year groups. Please click the link below to apply:

***Please note that this application form will be used to select all student leadership roles. Therefore if you are applying to be Head Boy/Girl or would like to be selected as a sports captain this form must be completed***

The deadline for application is 5.00pm on Wednesday 15th September.

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

Open Evenings

Table Talk

During whole school assembly we have reminded our students about the importance of being consistent in their positive approach to school. As a teaching staff we aim to approach all our interactions with our students with consistency and our standard operating procedures make that very easy to do. The quote by Christine Kane talks about that link from consistent actions to consistent results.

We would like you to reflect on where being consistent has supported you either at work or home and why it's important for us feel that the things around us are consistent.

Word of the Week

'Anti: against, opposite (Greek word root)

Antiseptic: preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.

Antibiotic: a medicine (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms.

This video explains how antibiotics work:

Antisocial: not sociable or wanting the company of others.'

Miss Brealey - Head of English Faculty


Please find below the Y10 and Y11 homework example pages so it is known what we are looking for in the roll-call inspection.

Mr Parker - Art Teacher

Year 11 Focus

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Y11 students back to CRA, In the first full week back staff have been incredibly impressed with the attitude and effort shown by pupils in lessons. They have already set the tone for what should be an excellent and rewarding year for them. Year 11 students will have a weekly assembly throughout this year devoted to providing messages regarding important upcoming events, provide revisions tips and to celebrate weekly successes.

This week pupils were told about their upcoming touchstone assessments, these start on the 13th of September and are an early opportunity for staff to make judgements on areas of strengths and weaknesses in order for us to plan accordingly moving forward to ensure that all pupils make the greatest amount of progress possible.

Teen Support

The first few weeks of a new school or even a new school year, please take a look at this fantastic link for some simple steps to help support your child.

What can I do at home?

  • Find time to talk, just the two of you – ‘Check in’ with them while you’re doing things together, so they get used to talking about their feelings.
  • Play together – Play helps them to be curious, learn new things, solve problems and express feelings without words.
  • Be a role-model – Show how you cope with difficult feelings and look after yourself.

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 13th September 6 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 13th September during period 2

The Sporting Post

DRET Summer Cup Time Trials

This week 42 of our students attended the DRET Summer Cup time trials. At the event our students tried to win themselves a lane at the DRET Summer Cup. All of the secondary academies part the trust took part in the event at locations local to them.

Our students set their times at the Princess Royal Sports Arena in Boston whilst others competed in Corby and Grimsby. Times from all 3 locations will be collated and the top 8 will compete at the DRET Summer Cup. We are currently waiting nervously for the results.

At the event our students demonstrated many of our core values such as courage and ambition. This was the first major event our students have attended in some time. This made our students even more excited. There was several great individual performances as well as some incredible team efforts in the relay races. Well done to all of the students who competed.

Afterschool Clubs Begin Next Week

We are delighted to announce afterschool sports clubs are starting on 15th September. We will be offering a rugby, hockey, rowing and table tennis in addition to our enrichment afternoons on Monday and Tuesday.

Please use the timetable above to find out when each club is taking place. Please be aware transport home from these clubs is not provided so students must be collected at 4.15pm.

Mr Addlesee - 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 DariuszSankowski - "book glasses watch" • silviarita - "salad fruits berries" • monicore - "notebook pen pencil" • Peggy_Marco - "financial equalization help stock exchange" • geralt - "entrepreneur start start up" • kvrkchowdari - "choose the right direction career direction direction" • AlexanderStein - "paperclip clip office" • MabelAmber - "dock feet footwear" • analogicus - "open shield note" • 14578371 - "sun reflection color colorful" • FabyGreen - "quotes carpe diem word" • webandi - "to dye watercolor colour" • geralt - "college student library books" • minanfotos - "friends sunrise young" • geralt - "mathematics formula smartphone" • Wokandapix - "olympics sport rock" • Alexas_Fotos - "calendar months wood"