CRA Newsletter 17.12.2021 Half Term 2 - DECember 17th 2021

Principal's Update

We had a lovely day yesterday, and it felt like Christmas had begun. The students were serenaded by our wonderful staff, with Christmas songs and carols, as they passed through the gate. Next, the Tutor groups had to take their Christmas trees, that they had decorated with their chosen theme, down to the hall. Following this in period 1, we had the Santa run. 91 students took part in the run and between them they raised £2,010. This is a fantastic achievement, particularly for such a small school. A particular well done goes to Riley (Year 11) who raised nearly £200.

In periods 3 and 4 we had a PSHCE session on online safety and the House party. There was a whole host of opportunities to win points towards the House Championship and there was a really lovely atmosphere in the school.

Looking ahead to January you will be aware that we have to test the students again for COVID. Mr Linforth, our Academy Operations Manager has shared the details in an MCAS home and later in this newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns in relation to this.

Whilst we think that the government will do all it can to keep schools open in the new year, we need to start to prepare for online learning in case there is another lockdown.

  • Students will need to be able to access their school email and understand how to access a Teams meeting.
  • Parents will need to watch for communication via MCAS and look at the website for updates also.
  • DRET IT support will be prioritising student password issues via itsupport@dret.co.uk where students have forgotten their passwords, to ensure this doesn’t become a block to students accessing online learning,
  • We will encourage you to visit www.parent.dret.cloud for any issues relating to accessing online learning.
  • Where possible we will lend devices to those families who don’t have a computer or tablet.

If we go into a lockdown and cannot return on the 5th January, we will communicate via MCAS initially and make sure that all students know how to access their online learning.

The Lockdown practice went well, with all staff and students understanding the process we would have to undertake if there were a level 3 threat at CRA. We will practice this critical incident response once an academic year.

Finally, thank you for all your support this year. I hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Mrs Jones - Principal

Work With Us

The academy are currently recruiting for zero hours staff to support our Data & Exams Officers with the invigilation of school exams.

If you would like to apply for one of these roles, or read a little more about it, please click on the link below.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 5th January 2022.

Teacher Training Opportunities

At Charles Read Academy, we are pleased to be the lead school of the East Midlands Hub of National Mathematics and Physics SCITT and the East Midlands and South Yorkshire Hub for National Modern Languages SCITT. (School-centre Initial Teacher Training)

We want to share this with our school community, so that you and your wider networks can be aware of the opportunities to train to teach as Mathematics, Physics or Modern Languages Teachers with our hub.

Please click on the link below for further details on how to register your interest.

Home Lateral Flow Testing

Return to school testing - January 5th 2022

Following Government guidance updated at the start of December, the Department for Education, based on and the NHS advice, have requested all secondary schools to perform lateral flow testing with students when they return in January 2022.

On this occasion we are only required to test once on the return, every year group will be tested on Wednesday 5th January, and again we will only test those students we have consent for.


Where you have previously provided or denied consent for your child, we will continue to abide by your wishes. However, if you would like to change your consent or have never previously consented, such as students who have joined us since September 2021, we would ask you to complete the simple Google Form below by January 2nd at the latest.

If in doubt, or if your contact details have changed, then please complete the form again and we will update your wishes.


As with previous testing processes we will bring ALL students in a year or tutor group to the test centre at their allotted time and filter off those without consent to the waiting area. Those without consent will be with those students being tested but will not be called for a test themselves.

We will also be using the “nasal only” tests this time, so that may help allay the anxieties of a few students too who cannot accommodate the throat swabs.

If you have consented to testing and complete a test with your child in the preceding 24 hours, we will still call them for testing, as this ensures that on their return to school the students are still negative.


A copy of the updated risk assessment will be available on the school website ahead of the return to school when the latest guidance has been updated post-Christmas and all risks factored in.

A copy of this letter can be found on the website by clicking here.

Routine weekly testing

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

Humanities- Travel & Tourism

Yr11 students will be sitting their external exam Component 2: Influences on Global Travel and Tourism February 2022. Students should be revising from now until the exam using their Knowledge Organiser and the Prep Homework set. Students should also try to spend more time revising from the knowledge organiser using activities such as:

  • Flash cards of key terms
  • Mind map for each of the 3 parts (A, B, C)
  • Self-quizzing

Mrs Cooper- Head of Humanities

Pastoral and Prep - homework detentions

From January there will be no second chance detention issued. Students will need to attend their detention on the day to avoid going into IE the following day for non-attendance. If there is a valid reason why, then this can be discussed, but a refusal to attend their detention will result in a day in IE.

Students have had 2 terms to get used to the system and so we are expecting them to organise themselves. Pastoral detentions are issued for having a phone out once getting off the bus, uniform issues such as coat on inside, shirt untucked when walking around, top button not done up, late for lessons, break and lunch poor behaviour, no CRA6.

Homework/prep detentions are issued for non-completion or non-satisfactory homework completion.

CRA Senior Leadership Team


Frequency of homework

As an academy we have made a great start to our new homework policy introduced this Autumn Term. Each student who has completed all pieces of Prep homework will have accumulated approximately 30hours of self- regulated learning this term. The homework policy not only supports students to develop self-regulation which is a fundamental skill needed in the work place and our personal lives but also a student’s long term memory of core knowledge. We ask you to discuss homework with your children over the Christmas holidays and the importance and benefits of its completion.

Those students who do not complete their Prep Homework (KS3-4) and/ or Additional homework (KS4) or who do not meet the expectations of the homework will receive a Prep Detention and will be informed during Roll Call by their Tutor. Two Prep Detentions in one week will result in an MCAS home and a phone call from the students Tutor. Three Prep Detentions in one week will result in an MCAS home and a day in IE. Please find the Homework Policy here as a reminder of the responsibilities from all parties. Please find here the instructional video which demonstrates how to complete the Prep Homework and the expectations.

All students will not be required to complete any homework over the Christmas holidays and will therefore receive their new Spring Term packs on Wednesday 5th January. Tutors will expect to see the first Prep Homework on Thursday 6th January during Roll Call from all students in KS3 and Yr10 students. Yr11 students will be revising for their Touchstone assessments and their first prep homework is expected on Monday 17th January during Roll Call. The online homework table will be available from Tuesday 4th January. Responding to some feedback from parents/carers and students we will also be issuing all students with a printed version of the homework table alongside their packs.

Thank you for your continued support with the homework policy.

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

A short video on homework expectations can be found on the CRA website or by clicking 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 - Whole School Teaching & Learning Lead

CRA Values

During our awards assembly today it was wonderful to celebrate all the students who have been nominated by their tutors for going 'above and beyond' and demonstrated one of our CRA values. Each student nominated has a star with their name and picture in it displayed in our 'above and beyond' awards board in the canteen. All students nominated will be added to a prize draw at the end of the academic year.

We also awarded our 2nd Principal's Resilience award to Cali Warren in Year 10 for coping with some difficult challenges this term so well done to Cali! Students are nominated for this award by all teaching staff, recognising them demonstrating one of the 7 Cs of Resilience; Choice not chance, Competence, Coping, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution.


Change to PE Kit Supplier

We have been advised by the Trusts procurement team that the manufacturer of the PE kits for our school is no longer able to fulfil their commitment to supplying us. We know some people experienced long delays in receiving orders this academic year, but had hoped the situation may improve.

Therefore we have ceased the contract with them and the Trust are searching for a new supplier that will be able to fulfil orders ready for the start of the next academic year.

We have been advised that anyone still awaiting a delivery will be refunded and should have already been contacted at the start of this month - please let me know if that is not the case (we will require your order number and item details).

In the meantime should your child need replacement kit we would ask you to observe the following uniform guidelines:

  • Plain black, navy or white t shirts - NO LOGOS
  • Plain black, navy or white shorts and socks - NO LOGOS

Failure to do so could so will be considered a breach of the uniform policy.

We appreciate your support on this matter and apologies for any inconvenience caused

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.

Parent Governor Vacancies

Charles Read Academy are now looking for two parent governors.

The role of parent governor is an important one. School governors play an important role in supporting the school. They can influence the strategic vision and direction and hold the senior leadership team to account.

Why become a school governor?

Benefits include:

  • Developing your professional skills and experience such as strategic planning, and team working, both of which are valued by employers and can assist your own career development
  • Building relationships and networks in your locality
  • Supporting children and young people in your community.

There is one meeting every half term. The meetings usually last approximately an hour and a half and can be accessed via Teams if coming into school is too difficult due to transport or child care issues.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in this role by completing your declaration of interest in the Governor election procedure below:

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 Geography"

Mr Otchere - Career's Lead


Huge well done to Aqua 9 today who have had 100% attendance, what a fantastic way to finish the term.

It was lovely to celebrate a number of students who have achieved 100% attendance this academic year during our rewards assembly, super effort.

As always please inform Charles Read Academy of your child’s absence before 9.30am, this is to keep our records are up to date and to ensure the safety of all of our students, either by emailing enquiries@charlesreadacademy.co.uk or calling the attendance line 01476 550333 ext 502.

CRA - Lets work together to make every day count!

Mrs Coleman - Attendance Manager

House News

House Christmas Party

On Thursday, KS3 & KS4 students took part in the House Christmas Party. Due to recent government guidelines the Christmas party was split into two sittings to allow more space and seat students in their own tutor groups.

240 students and staff sat down for Christmas lunch before taking part in a variety of Christmas themed party games including bingo and dressing Heads of Houses as a snowman. Students also took to the stage to sing their favourite Christmas songs, creating a festive atmosphere in the hall.

House points were awarded to the Top 3 Christmas Trees which tutor groups had been working extremely hard on in the build up to the event. Tutor groups were tasked to create a themed tree, using self-made decorations.

Each tree was fantastic and it was difficult to separate the top 3 but following some tough decisions it was Caeli 10 ‘who stole Christmas’ with their Grinch themed tree which was crowned winner. Terra 11 and Their Gratitude tree came 2nd place and Aqua 10 with their Eco friendly tree finished in 3rd place. Well done to everyone who took part.

Terra Top House Championship at Christmas Break

Terra consolidate their position in top spot of the House Championship going into the Christmas holidays. Well over 50% of the academy have represented their house already this academic year with so many more exciting competitions to come. Caeli have closed the gap considerably following victories in the Dodgeball, Christmas Tree and Attendance competitions leaving the race for the house championship still in their grasp heading in to the new year.

Aqua had another solid term and remain in 2nd place overall – victory in the Indoor Rowing and consistent 2nd place positions across a number of competitions keep them well in the hunt for the championship and retaining their title.

House New Year Cup – Starts 1st January

Be part of the CRA Virtual Tour of America as we take on ‘Route 66’ by representing CRA in the New Year Cup.

We are extremely excited to be taking part in the first ever DRET New Year Cup, which will see staff and students across the trust represent their respective academies throughout January (33 schools in total).

This will follow the same format as the successful Lockdown Cup from earlier this year where we as the smallest secondary academy in the trust finished 4th overall. Can we better that this time around?

Two Cups will be awarded to the school which covers the highest number of kilometres during the month by either cycling, walking or running, and the school which covers the largest average km per head. Medals will also be awarded to the highest individual pupils and staff members for walking, running and cycling.

To enter, you can start submitting your screenshots from 1st January by simply emailing housechampionship@charlesreadacademy.co.uk . All you need to include in the email is (Try to send in entries on the day of the exercise being completed).

  • Name:
  • Date of exercise:
  • Academy:
  • Pupil / Staff:
  • Walk / Run / Cycle:
  • Distance in KM’s:

This is also a house competition with a pot of 250 points on offer for the house covering the furthest distance and highest number of participating students and staff.

Each submission will add to our overall school total and we will share our progress across Route 66, visiting some hot spots and sights along the way! To complete route 66 as a school we need to complete a distance of 3,862km, roughly 13km per person across the month – this is more than achievable if we all play our part.

Get involved and support CRA and your house. The competition is open from Saturday January 1st and will close at the end of the day on Monday 31st January.

Keep an eye out for Term 2 competitions which will be released over the coming weeks on MCAS on our social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram) - @CRA_HouseChamp

Mr Webb - Games Master

Table Talk

Over the festive period we would love you to take some time to think as a family about what you are thankful for.

Gratitude costs us nothing, but can be everything to someone else and it's important we remember to give thanks for all the good things we have in life. We hope you and your family have a wonderful festive time.

Mental Health Intent

We are currently working on our Mental Health intent and would be interested to hear any feedback on this. Please see the statement in the attachment below.


We have unfortunately had a succession of students who have been found to have vapes on their person, having been using them at the bus stop and on the school transport.

Clearly it is illegal to purchase vapes or smoking paraphernalia under the age of 18, but aside from this, is it against our school rules. Anything connected to smoking is a banned item and students found with any paraphernalia will receive a fixed term exclusion.

We do this for the safety of all concerned. I hope you can support us in talking to your child about this matter.

Word of the Week

(Greek word root)

Path: suffering, sickness, disease (Greek word root)

  • Pathology the science of the causes and effects of diseases, especially the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes
  • Empathy the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Psychopath mental illness or disorder.

Miss Brealey - Head of English Faculty

Year 11 Focus

I would like to wish all Year 11 students a Happy Christmas. Please take this time to rest and reflect upon all you have achieved this year. Touchstone assessments will be taking place the week beginning the 10th of January as we build towards our full Mock season after February half term.

Mr Lovatt - Assistant Principal

Teen Support

Please see below for link to resources to support your child through the holidays from Steam Powered Family.

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 3rd January - 6 times table

Accelerated Reader

Week commencing 3rd January during period 5

The Sporting Post

DRET Santa Run

On the penultimate day of term, 91 of our students took part in the annual DRET Santa Run. All students had the opportunity to take part and try and raise some money or the DRET Inspiration Fund. This charity helps fund many of the extra-curricular activities our students take part in. This includes large sports events such as the DRET Summer Cup.

Prior to the run a map was released showing the course. Each part of the course had a festive name such as ‘Rudolph’s Retreat’ and ‘Blitzen’s Bend’. To add to the atmosphere festive songs were playing. At the end of the run all of the students who took part received a medal, hat and a t-shirt. This was a fantastic way to end the term. Our students thoroughly enjoyed taking part and they cannot wait until next year.

Between them they raised an amazing £2,010! Riley (Year 11) received a plaque for raising the most amount of money. He raised an impressive £179. Theo (Year 10) received a plaque for covering the most distance for the third year in a row.

Mr Addlesee - Sports Enrichment Officer

Updated Transport Policy

Transport provision for the academic year ahead is finalised in July.

Should a student move house that impacts on the transportation requirements (either to a DRET service from another DRET or LCC service) after the arrangements have been agreed between DRET and the transport providers; then places on a revised service will be subject to availability.

Should places not be available on the preferred service then either parents would make their own arrangements, or an alternative will be offered in the same town where possible, even though this may not offer the most convenient stops for the student.

At present we have a waiting list on one of the AC Williams Grantham services and are having to place students on the other Blands Grantham service

We appreciate this may cause some additional logistical issues for parents, but we cannot accommodate services that are not required at the time of the procurement of transport for the year ahead.

Mr Linforth - Academy Operations Manager

Admissions 2023-24 Consultation

Charles Read Academy is consulting on the Academy’s admission arrangements. These arrangements are for students who will be starting in September 2023.

The consultation is taking place for a period of six weeks, between Monday 1st November 2021 – Monday 13th December 2021.

Consultation will also be undertaken via Lincolnshire County Council’s (LCC) coordinated consultation process and will be on the LCC School Admissions Consultation website from the start of the consultation period.

Please see the consultation documents in the links below for further details.

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 stevepb - "school books apples" • Alexas_Fotos - "teamwork match together" • Wokandapix - "teach education school" • distelAPPArath - "corona covid medicine" • ansgarscheffold - "etretat beach sunrise" • Wokandapix - "back to school school education" • Bru-nO - "time clock pointer" • Tumisu - "ethics right wrong" • ringsfoto - "stationery clip cooperation" • geralt - "business the next step next" • Peggy_Marco - "thumb high thumbs up" • shameersrk - "hands soil plant" • TotalShape - "mental health mental wellness mind" • Shutterbug75 - "bad cancer care" • Wokandapix - "keywords letters scrabble word" • geralt - "students board drawing" • sasint - "sunset men silhouettes" • Kranich17 - "a book pages read" • mohamed_hassan - "winning success achievement" • oli2020 - "school safety signage" • geralt - "background bokeh light" • tigerlily713 - "calendar date time"