I hope that you are all safe and well. It has been a very busy week for staff as they prepare for our students to return to CRA. We have shared a lot of information via MCAS, through letters home and through the newsletter. Letters and previous newsletters are always available on the website if you wish to revisit information.
Most students we have spoken to are excited about returning to school although some, understandably, are anxious. We encouraged all students with SEN needs, who hadn’t been coming into school, and students with anxiety about returning on March 8th, to come into the academy this week. We did see an increase in our numbers which was pleasing, and we hope that the work we have done will allay the students’ concerns.
Today you will have received a Return to School Parent booklet (in Parent Letters on the website) which reminds you of the details shared about your son/daughter returning to CRA during the week beginning March 8th.
We want to work with you to ensure that the transition back into fulltime face-to-face schooling is as smooth as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact the academy if we can help in anyway.
For Year 9 this is an important time as they are choosing their options. We have posted an options briefing online which you can watch at your leisure, pause and return to information you wish to check. The Powerpoint resources from the options assembly are also available on the Curriculum page of the website. The options booklet is available electronically and students will receive a hard copy on March 10th that they and you can scrutinise and use during the virtual open evening to record notes or write down questions as you think of them.
Please can you make sure your child meets the deadline of 4pm on the 29th March 2021.
If you have any questions in relation to the process please contact Mr Drumm on EDrumm@CharlesReadAcademy.co.uk Year 9 should take every opportunity to talk to their subject staff and their tutors about the options for next year.
Please remember that all students need to be in full school uniform next week (see Uniform Expectations section further down), and as we will have windows open for ventilation as a result of COVID, as a temporary measure, they may wish to wear a plain white t-shirt under their school shirt and the school jumper under their blazer.
There have been some stunning entries for the photography competition and I am looking forward to seeing the results of the Table Talk challenge. It is an opportunity for parents to show their allegiance to the house and take the opportunity to discuss an important topic.
I hope you have a lovely weekend,
Mrs Jones - Principal
Lateral Flow Testing
When all pupils return to school from the 8th March 2021, the Government & Department for Education has requested we conduct Lateral Flow tests (for Covid) all pupils. This will take place on 3 occasions at least 3 days apart during the first 2 weeks. After this students will be expected to self test at home twice per week.
To see what's entailed in a lateral flow test please watch this the clip below.
We require parental consent to conduct the testing of pupils (children over 16 can complete this form themselves). Please complete the form below if you haven't done so already.
With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women, and her works have been considered a defence of Black culture.
From the twitter snapshot you can see that Maya continues to speak publicly promoting the empowerment of women, encouraging women to show courage in every part of their lives. Courage is such an important value and one of our CRA values.
Having the courage to come back to school Monday for lots of our students will be hard, but we know that through courage we find resilience and the confidence to give things a go.
On the return to school on March 8th, we will be ensuring that all pupils are adhering to the Academy Uniform Policy - details of which can be found here.
Please use this next week to ensure that uniform is correct for return to school - in particular to sort out hair styles and colours, nails and uniform, particularly school shoes. Students without a medical note will go into IE for incorrect uniform.
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.
All schools across the Trust have Academy Scrutiny Committees which are made up of community, staff and parental representatives. Presently Charles Read has vacancies for parent governors. The role and expectations of a Governor can be found here.
The primary role of the Academy Scrutiny Committee is to provide support and challenge to the Principal in ensuring every child makes good or better progress and that the Academy is achieving targets and continually improving. To maximise the ability of the local governors to focus on this key area, the Academy Scrutiny Committee is not required to set strategy or policy, manage financial resources, staff performance and pay, Health and Safety or many of the other areas traditionally associated with a maintained school governing body as these issues are dealt with at Trust level.
If you are interested in one of the roles please review and apply using the procedure document below.
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 email@example.com.
International Women’s Day Monday March 8th 2021
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
Marked annually on March 8th, International Women's Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:
- celebrate women's achievements
- raise awareness about women's equality
- lobby for accelerated gender parity
- fundraise for female-focused charities
The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021 is 'Choose To Challenge'. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. So let's all #ChooseToChallenge.
We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.
We have had several career talks lately which have discussed careers which are challenging – from Professor Wolpert talking about challenges when sourcing finance for research, The Engineer talking about the challenges he faced when providing practical solutions for issues, and the Army talking about their career opportunities.
We have also had a very interesting assembly this week about the NCS- and how you as a year 11 can join this program to provide you with some very employable skills and enhance your CV.
Please choose to challenge yourself – and be proud of your successes.
Careers in the heart of the action!
On the 2nd March our Year 11 students participated in a webinar with Cpl Peter Sinclair from Armed Forces Careers Office. Cpl Sinclair introduced Year 11 to a number of exciting careers in the Armed Forces. This included careers within the:
- Royal Engineers
- Army Medical Services
- Royal Signals
Students were given the opportunity to gain an insight into life as a solider and the varied and interesting career opportunities available in the Armed Forces. Cpl Sinclair was encouraged by the enthusiasm of our students and has agreed to return to CRA in the summer to meet with Year 10 and Year 11.
Are you interested in a Medical Career ?
If you think that you may be interested in a medical career then use the links below to sign up for a webinar, where they will be talking about different types of medical work experience you can get. They will explain the differences and what type of experience is best for your application. This webinar is for students aged 15+
If you cannot make this time, the webinar will be available to watch on-demand on our YouTube channel the following day
Designed specially for 16 and 17 year olds, the NCS experience will give you a clearer idea of what you want from your future.
NCS is a program designed to run through the summer holidays which links an action packed adventure week, with a week at a University learning how to adapt to new surroundings and live the student life, with a charity fund raising project at the end. As part of NCS, you will mix with a new crowd, and take on fresh challenges together. Before you know it, you’ll be rooting for each other, as you all tackle your own little hurdles.
Along the way, you’ll also get a taste for independence and pick up skills that will help you to achieve your future goals. And if that’s not enough for you, you’ll also be given a platform to have your voice heard and pursue a passion project.
The NCS experience might last just a few weeks, but the impact? That lasts a LOT longer.
Over 500,000 people have already done NCS – if you would like to be one of them then you will have the opportunity – we will be bringing this exciting project to Charles Read this half term. In the meanwhile, if you would like to know more then take a look at this link.
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 Maths’.
Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal
School attendance will be mandatory for all pupils from 8 March.
The usual rules on school attendance apply, including:
- Parents’ duty to secure their child’s regular attendance at school (where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age).
- Schools ability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
As usual, school is responsible for recording attendance, following up absence and reporting children missing education to the local authority. Parents are reminded that pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies.
Returning to school is vital for a child's education and wellbeing. Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. It can affect both current learning, and future ability to learn, as well as their wellbeing.
The safety of children and staff is a top priority. Schools are regularly assessing the risk posed by coronavirus and have strengthened existing measures in place to support the need of their staff and children.
Back to school routines
It is important that your child is school ready for Monday 8th March. 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.
If you are dropping your child off at school please remember not to get out of your car in the car park. If you need to speak to a member of staff, then ask your child to speak to the member of staff on duty and they will approach your vehicle. This is to ensure we keep all parties safe during the transitional period at drop off and collection.
Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager
World Book Day 2021
Geography- Yr8/9- Coasts
Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird
His new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water - and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?
History- Yr9- First World War
The Somme by Sarah Ridley
The Somme investigates the build-up to the battle, why leaders thought the action was necessary and what they thought it would achieve. It looks at the forces involved, including the ‘Pals’ battalions – patriotic friends who fought, and more often than not died, together.
I am so excited to welcome everybody back to the library next week! It is looking better than ever with even more books, and after our recent stocktake, the system should be working perfectly.
My vision for the library is for all students to have access at break and lunch times, but for safety reasons we need to be very careful about who uses it and when over the next few weeks. I am therefore proposing to have a rota, whereby we give each year group a day of the week to come and change books, or just sit and read:
- Yr 7 - Monday
- Yr 8 - Tuesday
- Yr 9 - Wednesday
- Yr 10 - Thursday
- Yr 11 - Friday
I am happy to say that the following students have agreed to be our librarians:
- Monday - Grace and Noah (Yr 7)
- Tuesday - Oliver and Rhys (Yr8)
- Wednesday - Ashton and Evie (Yr 9)
Yrs 7, 8 and 9 will continue to have their library lessons as before. If anybody needs to change books at another time, please let me know and we will work something out!
I want to reassure you that when books are returned, they are quarantined for 3 days before they are put back on the shelves.
Almost all the books out on loan are now overdue (a few of them have not been returned since the first lockdown). If you have a school library book at home, PLEASE put it in your school bag now, ready to return! You don't have to wait for your library session - you can leave your books on the library desk, or hand them to your form tutors and they should find their way back to me!
I look forward to seeing you all next week!
Elly Spilberg - TA & Librarian
We are excited to announce that we will be having a Tassomai house competition running next week. This will see each form group go head-to-head representing their house, competing for the most daily goals completed that week. We are so excited to see you playing your part and contributing to your form's total daily goals.
Geography Department Update
Students in Yr10 and Yr11 will continue to sit regular assessments and knowledge retrieval during lessons. We would advise students in Yr10 to purchase an AQA Geography 9-1 revision guide and workbook from Reception for £5.
Students in both Yr10 and Yr11 are set weekly homework tasks via Student Portal and it is very important that these are completed. Other useful revision resources for independent study include;
- Seneca- free knowledge retrieval quiz website/ app
- YouTube- Geography Hawks, Planet Lacey
- Tutor2U- free online tutorials by Heads of Department and examiners
Students in Yr7-9 are set weekly homework tasks and it is really important that these are completed. We would recommend that students also complete independent study such as our new ‘suggested’ reading (soon to be launched) and watch documentaries such as;
• BBC iPlayer- A Perfect Planet, Attenborough’s Life in Colour, I am Greta, Extinction the Facts, Climate Change- The Facts
We look forward to seeing you next week!
Mrs Cooper- Head of Humanities
Cultural Diversity – TABLE TALK!
For this week’s House Competition at Charles Read Academy we are linking ‘Table Talk’ to our school focus; Cultural Diversity.
We are encouraging families; parents and students to discuss their thoughts and opinions around Cultural Diversity in reference to Stephen R. Covey’s quote “Strength lies in differences, not similarities”. House Points for this competition have been increased and will be awarded to the House with the most overall entries.
To enter this competition all you need to do is email a short paragraph or summarising sentence of the conversation you had with your family around this quote to firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to hear some of the conversation through a voice recording but this is optional.
The deadline to enter this competition is Sunday 7th March.
House Lockdown Cup -2 DAYS REMAINING!
There are only 2 DAYS remaining to enter and represent CRA in the DRET Lockdown Cup competition, which ends on Sunday 7th March.
February scores will be released by the trust over the next few days, to show how CRA have fared against the 33 academies across the David Ross Education Trust. After January’s scores CRA were sitting in 4th place overall, 2nd for the most average kms covered per head and are eagerly anticipating the latest score update. January and February scores are banked and will be added together with the remaining days left in March to provide and overall total for the competition.
Caeli claimed top spot for February and secured 50 house points after covering 1,302km throughout the Month. Aqua finished in 2nd place for February with 1,228km and Terra in 3rd on 935km for the month.
Aqua are still in the overall lead with 2,419km, ahead of Caeli in 2nd with 2,354km and Terra in 3rd with 2,021km. Despite the DRET competition coming to an end the House Competition will continue to run till the end of the Term, Wednesday 31st March.
We are delighted to share that we have reached the final destination, The Capital of Portugal – LISBON on our Virtual Tour of Europe. This is an incredible effort from all, travelling a total distance of 6,802km so far. The journey is not quite over just yet as we have an additional 1,800km to travel, in a little under 4 weeks to get us back to CRA. This will complete the journey where we started, visiting 13 destinations across 11 different countries.
JOIN US ON OUR FINAL LEG OF OUR VIRTUAL TOUR AND TAKE PART BY SIMPLY GOING FOR A WALK, JOG, CYCLE OR ROW (NEW!) AND EMAIL A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR DISTANCE to email@example.com
You can keep track with the progress on our Lockdown Cup ‘Tour of Europe’ via our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@CRA_HouseChamp).
You can keep track with the progress on our Lockdown Cup ‘Tour of Europe’ via our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@CRA_HouseChamp).
Mr Webb - Games Master
International Women's Day is celebrated annually on 8 March. It is a day when people around the world come together to recognise the achievements that women and girls have made, as well as call for further action to close the gender gap in terms of education, health, economics and politics.
We would love you as a family to discuss the famous quote by Malala Yousafzai. Where have you or can you make your voice heard and how is it best to do this so that people listen?
Word of the Week
Cred: believe (Latin word root)
- Credit the ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future,or publicly acknowledge a contributor's role in the production of (something published or broadcast).
Watch this short video which explains how we ended up using credit cards instead of cash.
- Credence belief in or acceptance of something as true.
- Credible able to be believed; convincing.
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 8th March - 9 times table
Week commencing 8th March during period 3
Year 11 Focus
It is soon time for students to return to school. This is a time that we have been working towards and looking forward, so we can see our friends, re-establish our social norms and speak to our teachers to improve and evidence our subject knowledge and application the best we can.
Returning to a routine does have a lot of advantages for our mental health and will help us establish behaviours that will help us manage our work as well as having healthy friendships that will give them support and the social contact that we have all missed.
It may be a bit of a shock to the system for some - I know that I've enjoyed some later starts and not having to iron shirts in an evening. I would like to remind you all that not only that this is of upmost importance for you to be able to have direct access to your teachers and to be able to get bespoke support for the areas where it is needed, but also to act as the role models of excellence I know you all are. The younger years will be more nervous and find it more difficult to adjust and we know that you will look after them and be a great example to how a CRA student behaves.
We are all looking forward to seeing you back.
Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead
Please see the links for some great articles supporting you as Parents in ensuring that social media security settings for popular apps such as TikTok and Instagram are set up correctly as well as an article which outlines for Parents, what sexting is. We hope that you find these useful.
The Sporting Post
Here in the PE department, we are so excited to welcome our students back to School from the 8th March. It has been incredible to see such resilience from the Charles Read Academy Community throughout lockdown and we hope to see this continue upon the students return.
During this lockdown there have been many different opportunities for the students to participate in such as the DRET Lockdown Cup, the House Pancake Flipping Competition and the CRA Book Review to name just a few. We are overwhelmed by the number of students, parents and staff getting involved with these competitions and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing your entries for them.
On return to school, sports enrichment clubs will be restarting at lunchtimes and some afterschool. There are so many physical, mental and social benefits from taking part in exercise and we really want as many students to get back involved as possible. During Term 2, we had around 120 students attend at least one sports enrichment club. Once all students have returned, we are hoping for even more to get involved. We will be offering a variety of clubs such as; football, netball, rugby and many more! If there is a club that isn’t on the timetable but you think it should be, speak to the PE department and they will try their best to accommodate everyone.
It's very important that students attend as many clubs as they can if you wish to be selected for teams, as we are hoping for fixtures to begin in Term 5, following Government guidance. Students will not be selected to play if they do not turn up to any sport enrichment clubs. All enrichment clubs will be running in year group bubbles, as well as all equipment being thoroughly cleaned after use.
Following on from this we are also hoping to see some DRET events towards the end of the school year. Events such as the Summer Cup are well known for being brilliant days out of school where you compete against other DRET academies. Like fixtures, if you don’t attend sports enrichment clubs- you will not be invited to attend.
There will be so many exciting opportunities for students in the coming months and we hope to see you take full advantage. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to answer as best I can
Miss Dickson - Sports Enrichment Officer
Created with images by Wokandapix - "classroom school education" • PublicDomainPictures - "biology research laboratory" • Peggy_Marco - "financial equalization help stock exchange" • aitoff - "loving memory memorial" • cocoparisienne - "texture background compass" • ArtisticOperations - "school bus houston texas street" • geralt - "road sign town sign success" • geralt - "dream job application location" • m_ming - "chalk colorful dust" • LubosHouska - "books bookstore book" • JillWellington - "library books woman holding books" • geralt - "technology developer continents" • maciej326 - "globus earth world" • sasint - "grandmother kids laptop" • Wild0ne - "typewriter vintage write" • geralt - "learn mathematics child" • Alexas_Fotos - "stickies post-it list" • truthseeker08 - "hand united together" • Yusuke64 - "rowing boat sports" • Sarajulhaq786 - "end new year calendar celebrate celebration"