CRA Newsletter - 18.12.20 AutumN Term 2 - DECEmber 18th 2020

Principal's Update

With a holiday approaching it would be wonderful if you could encourage your son/daughter to spend some time reading, whether it be a newspaper, a magazine, an annual, a biography, some poetry or a novel. With the unusual circumstances of this Christmas and the last six months, losing ourselves in a good fiction book could be very therapeutic for us all.

Reading is a life skill. Educational research reveals that students who have a rich and developed vocabulary will inevitably achieve good academic results. They are exposed to complex, academic language that will lead to exam success and an increase in life chances. Therefore, it is imperative that students have a Reading Age that is reflective of their chronological age.

We encourage reading in a variety of ways including Tutor reading, where the tutors (years 7-11) read challenging and complex novels to our students two mornings a week and in KS3 we read for 20 minutes every day. We promote the importance of reading in assemblies and tutors discuss how frequently students have quizzed on the books they are reading on a Tuesday.

To further ensure that our students have the best possible chances of developing their vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, teachers at Charles Read Academy are also delivering two Reading interventions, Fresh Start Read, Write Inc. and Direct Instruction to appropriate students.

Please discuss the importance of reading and extending vocabulary with your son/daughter and encourage them to take up the many opportunities to read and thereby increase their chances of achieving well academically.

Unfortunately, we say good-bye to Mr Allen our Head of maths and Head of Terra at the end of the term. He is taking a different role, stepping down from leadership and we wish him all the best for the future. Students have enjoyed a Finance module in their lessons this week as part of our Careers in the Curriculum programme. We are very grateful for his work on this. Mr Allen has made a real difference to the maths teaching and learning at CRA and students, and he will be missed. Congratulations to Miss Robinson who will be taking over as Head of Terra House.

We also say goodbye to Mrs Ludlam, one of our TAs who is moving to another school into a pastoral role. We are appreciative of all her hard work, particularly in relation to careers and wish her well for the future.

I am thankful that we have a wonderful community at CRA. Students and staff have conducted themselves well throughout the Autumn term. They have displayed many, if not all of the CRA values but particularly resilience. Attendance has increased in the last two weeks of the term which is a fantastic effort. Thank you for your support with this. We can only educate and support the students if they are attending and when we work in partnership we can positively influence the life chances of all our students.

We have been getting ready for Christmas this week and have enjoyed the live virtual screening of ‘A Christmas Carol’, had the fun of the Santa run this week, the House Christmas parties and the staff carol singing. We are all ready for a break and I hope that you can have a restful yet fun-filled holiday with your family.

Best wishes for an enjoyable holiday.

Kind regards, Mrs Jones

CRA Values

On Thursday we took the time to celebrate in our awards assembly all the wonderful students who have worked so hard over the past term. Students were not just awarded for their academic success, but also for their improved attendance, their attitude to learning, being 'perfect'- no behaviour points and 100% attendance, going above and beyond demonstrating our CRA values and the Principal's Resilience Award. Over 100 students received VIP tickets to the hall where they were seated in their year group bubbles, whilst the rest of the school supported and cheered them on in tutor rooms via Teams. It was a wonderful way to end the term and great to see the pride and ambition in our students' faces as they received their awards.

Curriculum Update

Work during "Covid Isolation"

If a student is in an enforced period of isolation after coming into contact with someone, or are unable to come in due to having symptoms of their own, they can still access their lessons. The Lockdown Curriculum map is available on the CRA website. Once in the Curriculum area then search for the relevant subject in the HT3 area. The lesson plans module on Student Portal will also show them the current position their classmates are studying on a particular day.

Accessing the Curriculum

In order to make sure our students achieve their potential and consolidate learning from the classroom we need to improve the rate of homework submission.

So that you can continue to support your child with their homework, we kindly ask that you:

  • Check Student Portal on a regular basis with their child.
  • Engage with your child about their homework, take an interest and offer support, where possible.
  • Support your child by testing memory recall and supporting information retrieval.
  • Wherever possible ensure that they have a suitable and quiet place to complete the homework.
  • Raise concerns with their form tutor or subject teacher if you are worried about your child’s homework.
  • Speak to the academy if there is an issue with IT or Student Portal.
  • Request that your son/daughter be assigned to an ‘Academic Prep’ in the event that they need further support.

Homework is important at all stages in your child’s education and when used properly, it extends the challenge open to them and ensures that teaching time is used to maximise effect. It also makes a significant contribution to the development of independent learning.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Career's Corner

Careers Ideas

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 Engineering’.

Labour Market Data

The Careers department endeavour to keep students informed about Labour Market Information in our local area and nationally. Giving them this information will help them to make informed decisions about their future career and education choices.

The information reported by the National Careers service details the following:

  • Wages
  • Working hours
  • Gender balance
  • Qualifications required
  • Geographical locations

The impact of Covid-19 has had a huge impact on employment across the nation, however in our local area the picture is positive.

As illustrated by the graph, employment levels are up in Lincolnshire and unemployment levels have fallen.

Stamford College

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 & Mrs Ludlam - Careers

Attendance Update

Covid Positive Cases - Christmas Reporting

Should your child or a member of your family receive a positive Covid result, it is essential that you make the school aware immediately. You can contact by email enquiries@charlesreadacademy.co.uk or via the MCAS app.

Over the Christmas period it is still important we are aware if your child develops a positive covid result so we can make others aware if they have been in close contact.

Coronavirus Symptoms

If you are uncertain about what actions to take when it comes to Covid symptoms and whether you should send your child to school, please review the attached letter from Public Health England, and posters below.

Miss Butcher - Attendance Manager

House News

House Christmas Party

This week at Charles Read Academy over 200 students enjoyed a Christmas Party with a difference. Due to COVID guidelines this year’s House Christmas Party was split over two days with a separate KS3 and KS4 party, creating a safe environment for our students and maintain year group bubbles.. Students who attended the party enjoyed a Festive Burger and Curly Fries with Cranberry sauce and Gravy for their dinner while singing Christmas songs with their friends.

Entertaining included a variety of Christmas games including bingo and dressing year groups leaders as snowmen followed by lots of chocolates and prizes. This year has been a very challenging year for many and we are proud that at Charles Read Academy, through the house system we have been able to provide a sense of normality for our students who have really engaged in all of the events so far. Photos from the event will be released on our social media platforms over throughout the Christmas period.

House Christmas Trees

Students and Staff have really gone above and beyond with their Christmas Trees this year with a number of really creative ideas, which made Judging extremely difficult. From NHS thank you trees to Quotes from ‘A Christmas Carol’ there was a wide variety of designs with an awful lot of effort from each tutor group gone into them. 3rd place was awarded to Terra 7 with their ‘Grinch’ themed tree. 2nd Place was awarded to Aqua 9 with their Artistic tree and the winner this year was awarded to Caeli 9 with their NHS/COVID themed tree.

The attention to detail in the decorations were fantastic which included miniature mask and toilet roll baubles made from hand and a knitted NHS teddy. Caeli picked up bonus points for this competition following excellent entries across each of their forms.

It was a close call between 2 or 3 of Caeli trees with Caeli 7 narrowly missing out on 1st place with their achievement tree. Caeli 8 and Caeli 9 are worthy of special mentions for their thoughts for the less fortunate in the community and Christmas Carol trees respectively. Well done to everyone.

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

Humanities Department Review

Since our last Humanities update students in Geography have been exploring different types of geology and associated landforms in Yr7, evaluating the impact of spending $1 in USA on the rest of the world in Yr8 and Yr9, understanding the characteristics of a hot desert and the economic opportunities they may provide in Yr10 and evaluating the impact of hard and soft engineering along the UK coastline in Yr11. Our students should now be preparing themselves for their end of unit assessments and January mocks. Geography have also hosted the house competition ‘flags of the world’ which more than 150 students took part in.

Whilst in History students have explored how and why faith shaped our lives in Yr7, assessing why Henry VIII broke with Rome; love, power or religion in Yr8 and Yr9 and in Yr10 students are evaluating Hitler’s role in reforming religion and finally in Yr11 students are evaluating the role of the League of Nations in preventing World War Two.

In PSHCE students are thinking ahead to their future selves and are using Unifrog to record their skills, activities and interests in school, at home, hobbies and extracurricular.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our students and their families a well deserved and well rested happy holiday.

Mrs Cooper - Head of Humanities Faculty

Tutor Structure for Spring Term 1

With Miss Robinson becoming our new Head of House for Terra, we have a tutor group position for Terra10 that will be filled by Mrs Morris who will be joining us in January to support in school. Lots of the students will have already met Mrs Morris as she spent some time in the Humanities department last academic year. We look forward to welcoming her again at the Academy.

Virtual Parents Evening - Year 10's

All parents and carers of year 10 students have been sent an MCAS today about booking for virtual parents evening sessions via Teams on January 7th 2021.

Please review the letter, noting the joining instructions and relevant subject/teacher links that are listed at the bottom.

If after reading the letter you have any question please contact us via email on enquiries@charlesreadacademy.co.uk

Music Department Update

The Autumn Term has been a great term for our expanding Music Department with Music GCSE now fully back on the Curriculum Menu and students of all ages discovering their love of music through performing and composing using technology and live playing.

This week, the Celebration Assembly was opened by Christmas music songs from brave members of Keyboard Club followed by Last Christmas from our Year 10 GCSE Music Band accompanied by Year 10 Dancers.

Year 10 Band - Last Christmas

We’ve had a great deal of fun getting ready for this performance, and have for the First Christmas had a lot of fun working out which lead goes where with our new Stage hi-tech PA System – which sounds fabulous. All of our performers have done a great job, their performances were thoroughly enjoyable and Christmassy. We are so proud of them all for all of their hard work learning new instruments and preparing their performances.

The Spring Term will bring us more Musical Enrichment Activities including Music Technology Club, Keyboard club, Trumpet Tuesdays (30 trumpet club places available and for a 6 week loan) and Band/ Performance practice.

Many instrumentalists and vocalists have already returned to their 1-1 instrumental lessons this term, and many more will soon be starting their 1-1 instrumental lessons in January. Now is definitely the right time to apply for 1-1 instrumental/vocal lessons because the Lincolnshire Music Service is arranging their lesson timetables for the Spring Term as I write. For more information on how to apply please visit the 1-1 instrumental lessons tab here.

Mrs Jones and I will also be looking for more aspiring Student Music Leaders to add to our already very dedicated Music Ambassador in Year 10 who does a wonderful job. We will be searching for about a couple of Lead Student Sound Technicians who would be available to work as part of a team assisting with performances involving Music Technology. This is both a responsible and essential role for the Music Department and its performers but also great for industry experience relating to stage management, sound technician work, teamwork and organisation. Please do let Mrs Jones or Mrs Sharp know if you are interested.

Many thanks for all of your Music Making Charles Readians.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Mrs Sharp - Music & Maths Teacher

Hegarty Maths

It’s the start of a new year and it’s at this time, we sometime make a new year resolution on things that we want to improve on for the year ahead.

It is with this in mind that I am setting the students at CRA a challenge to ensure that they are completing there Hegarty tasks to the high standards we require in the maths department. SO for the year ahead we went students to be doing the following when they are completing their Hegarty Tasks:

  • Watch the video all the way through before attempting the questions and making notes on some of the examples.
  • Use your orange exercise books for working out the answers to the questions. Making sure you are setting all your work out as you would do in class.
  • If you don’t get green go back and reattempt the questions making sure you are watching the video again to help.
  • If you are really struggling with the work being set, ask your class teacher for help before the homework deadline.

Remember that Hegarty Maths is an important tool that we use to make sure your learning becomes permanent and help you become confident and competent mathematicians.

Mr Allen - Head of Maths


Since launching Tassomai back in September we have been seeing a real improvement already in many students ability to recall information, with many often saying ‘ I know this because I did it on Tassomai ’. This is leading to students gaining confidence and feeling fantastic as they are seeing first hand how the homework being set is supporting them make progress in lesson. We do however still have a number of students who are not using Tassomai as required. Each student needs to completing 4 daily goals in a week, these are monitored every Thursday immediately after school so we advise students to make they are done before Thursday. We would like to take the time to ask that you support us supporting your child to make progress and enter into conversation with them about using Tassomai, perhaps you could even ask to take a look at their learning tree - this maps out visually the students understanding and knowledge based upon Tassomai usage, it grows over time as they strengthen and secure key information.

We currently have about 180 students who are engaged which is brilliant but that does leave about 80 who are not yet using it as we require. Parent reports have been slightly delayed launching, but they should go live very soon. Please remember it is not too late sign up.

Mr Drumm - Assistant Principal

Table Talk

All our students were lucky enough to watch a virtual production of Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' on Tuesday. The quote to discuss over Christmas will hopefully help us all reflect on how we can give so much more than presents at Christmas.

Our time is so precious and sharing that with others can really help with making other people feel valued, supported and a part of something. We all hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Word of the Week

Phys: Nature, body, natural science (Greek word root)

Physiology the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.

Metaphysics the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, identity, time, and space.

Geophysics the physics of the earth.

Week commencing 4th January

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 4th January - 6 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 4th January during period 3

Chewing Gum

A reminder please that chewing gum is not permitted in the Academy at all. In non Covid times this would be a pastoral detention if caught chewing gum, however with the health and hygiene implications of chewing gum, following the Christmas break, any student caught chewing gum in school will spend a day in IE. Please talk to your child about the importance of keeping everyone safe and remind them that gum is a banned item in the Academy, as in all DRET Academies. Thank you.

Miss King - Assistant Principal

Year 11 Focus

This is the end, of what was one of the hardest terms that year 11 will have to go for. After a gap from face-to-face learning, they have had 15 weeks of intense learning including mock exams and at a rapid pace catching up on missed knowledge from last year. They should have all made sure that they have used the information from the mock exams to close those gaps.

With the Government announcing on the last day of term the change to return to school, year 11s are in as normal. To maximise the learning time, we have decided to move the Touchstone exams a week earlier, so the Year 11s can have this period to do their touchstone exams as well as their lessons. We realise that they will have a week less revision for the exams, but it also means that they will have a longer period of uninterrupted learning time.

It is really important, however, that that students use this time over Christmas to recover and regain their energy. A good amount of rest, allowing their minds to focus on other things and decompressing, and to recover their physical, mental and emotional reserves of energy is the most important thing.

The key to revising is a little bit every day. A routine when you do 5-10 minutes per subject looking through revision cards over breakfast, and 5-10 minutes per subject before you go to bed will be better for retention and for your wellbeing than doing nothing for 10 days and spending the weekend before school in a panic cramming. So, try to get into a routine over Christmas to allow for little bits to aid your retention, don't try and learn new content because you won't take it in, and make sure you have time with family and friends (socially distanced and safe at all).

Although, if your great aunt has been showing you photos of dogs in scarfs and woolly hats for 6 hours and you need an excuse, I have to do my maths revision is always a good one.

Have a great break and we will see you all when you come back.

Mr Young - Raising Standards Lead

Teen Support

As we now start the two week break from school, we wanted to share a really good article for parents around images and videos online. We know lots of our students will be posting images and videos of their holiday festivities over the next couple of weeks and we want to ensure they do so safely. From Snapchat to Instagram, more and more young people are using video sharing apps to create and share their own content with their friends online. While it’s normal for young people to be curious about using these types of apps, it’s important to talk to them about what they’re sharing online and how they can use them safely. We hope this Net-Aware.org.uk article helps.

The Sporting Post

DRET Santa Fun Run

On Wednesday 16th December, Charles Read Academy held their annual Santa Run raising money for the DRET Inspiration Fund. The Inspiration Fund enables the David Ross Education Trust to provide their students with an incredible variety of enrichment opportunities across sport, music and the arts as well as cultural activities which we would otherwise be unable to offer.

This year the school could not run together as a big group, meaning we had to adapt and do staggered starts with year group bubbles. BBC Radio Lincolnshire kindly offered to speak to two of our students - Kiesha and Theo- as well as counting us down to start the Santa Run. Our Santa Run took place on the field and 3G Pitch with a few obstacles for students and staff to go over or around. We kept the Christmas theme going when naming parts of our course; Prancer's Pass, Comet's Corner and Dasher's Drive are just a few examples of our checkpoint names!

As a School we managed to raise around £2500 with 90 students participating! As well as this we had 3 members of Staff run with our students. A big well done to Theo for winning fastest runner and also to Mackenzie who won top fundraiser! We can't thank the Charles Read community enough for pulling together and raising an incredible amount for the Inspiration Fund.

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

Dates for your diary

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

Highlights at the start of next term include:

  • Term Starts - Monday 4th January 2021
  • Year 10 parents evening - Thursday 7th January 2021
  • Half Term - Monday 15th - Friday 19th February 2021


Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • RochasBrasil - "stone rocks rock" • Hope House Press - Leather Diary Studio - "notebooks-cambridge" • geralt - "business idea planning business plan" • MichaelGaida - "machine clock time" • stokpic - "hands world map" • InstagramFOTOGRAFIN - "teacher board tutor" • Mediamodifier - "laptop prezi 3d presentation" • geralt - "violin listen sound" • Trung Thanh - "The Moment" • Patrick Tomasso - "untitled image" • John Moeses Bauan - "Enlightening Math" • athree23 - "chewing gum table scattered" • Philippe Bout - "musician checking music sheet before Concert" • Helena Lopes - "Saturday. Summer. Beautiful sunny day, so my friends and I decided to make a picnic and watch the sundown. Pretty fun and relaxed day." • stux - "football playing field corner" • Anne Nygård - "untitled image"