The Academy operates its own highly successful in-house meals service, providing balanced and nutritional meals throughout the day within its restaurant which fully meet with government guidelines. It is a provision that has a considerable take up from students taking advantage of it, underpinned by a strong belief within the Academy that good nutrition plays an important part in aiding student learning. The value for money service operates three times a day in term time, starting with breakfast provision running from 7:45 through to the start of the Academy day with the Academy also operating a Breakfast Club for some students benefitting from a free breakfast whilst also learning at the same time. Break time operates between 11:30 and 11:50, with lunch running from 13:05 to 14:00. Lunch operates on a rota basis with Years 7 to 10 rotating to one of four different time slots so that every four weeks, one year group goes first to lunch along with the Year 11 students and similarly they also only go the lunch last one week in four too.
The service operates on a cashless basis, so that students are not needing to carry cash with them each day. Each student is provided with an ID card that also acts as their ‘mealcard’ as well as being used to borrow facilities from the Learning Resources Centre. The cards are colour coded to show the relevant year group and include the students name, photo and a unique ID. Details of monies within the student’s account are retained on the card and this is adjusted each time they pass through the server or top up their cards with money. The Academy encourages payment to be made using our electronic payment system called sQuid where payments onto their meal account can be made from the comfort of their own homes. Payment is also possible by cheque. Either of the above methods are preferred as it ensures that every penny provided to a student intended for their Academy meals is spent appropriately without temptation for any to be spent on either items whilst journeying to and from the Academy. Payments made by either of the above methods also attract a 5% uplift from the Academy. Cash payments remain possible via a revaluator machine located in the restaurant which accepts coins and notes from £1 coin upwards. Those who are entitled to free school meals have exactly the same style of card as other students, the only difference being that their cards are automatically topped up each day with the current daily value of the free school meal, although they are also encouraged to top up their cards with a small additional balance.
Further details on how the service operates in the case of free school meals and a more detailed description of the sQuid facility, can be found on the additional links.