Dining Hall / Cashless Catering / School Gateway

The Castle Rock School operates a “Cashless Catering” system in the dining hall. Students and staff each have their own personal cashless catering accounts which they can top up with credit either online or via a machine in school, which accepts coins and notes.

Purchases are then made in the dining hall using biometric information – we use an algorithm based scan, which reads between 50 & 130 points on the thumb. We do not store a fingerprint on file in any way, shape or form and the biometric data we store is of use only to the cashless system.

A daily spend limit of £5.00 is in place for students – this can be raised or lowered with parental permission. Free School Meal students automatically receive a daily allowance of £2.70.

Benefits of the cashless catering system include:

  • Increased speed of service reducing queue times.
  • Increased uptake on Free School Meals.
  • Anonymity on Free School Meals reducing bullying.
  • Facility to pay online.
  • No need to carry cash helping to prevent theft / loss.
  • Automatic alerts to stop pupils purchasing allergy trigger items.
  • Students learn about important lifestyle control by monitoring their own accounts.
  • Reporting facilities help decrease wastage and improve the overall efficiency of the meal service.
  • In the event of any issues with the online payment system, please contact the school office in the first instance.
  • Packed lunches brought into school may be eaten in the dining hall.

Students make good use of the dining facilities – hot food, drinks and snacks are available at the following times:

Breakfast Club – 08:15 to 08:45
We have introduced a free slice of hot buttered toast for each student.

Break Time – 11:10 to 11:30
A range of drinks and snacks are on offer.

Lunch Time – 13:30 to 14:00
At lunch time the students can purchase a hot “Meal Deal” which is a carefully balanced two course lunch with a small bottle of water, which costs £2.70.
For a Main Meal only the cost is £2.00 and consists of a main course served with vegetables or salad – Vegetarian and Gluten-free options available.
we also offer a baguette meal deal with a choice of fillings from £2.45 or a jacket potato meal deal from £2.50.

Twilight Club – 15:00 to 16:00
A range of drinks and snacks are on offer.

Click Here for the current Menus and Price List


Food Allergies
Any food allergy records registered with the school will be entered onto the cashless system. If students attempt to purchase an item that they are allergic to, the till operator is alerted so that they can intervene.

The kitchen is a nut-free zone but very occasionally if items do contain nuts these are clearly labelled. If your child has any allergies please talk to us and we will work hard to accommodate any concerns.

All pre-packaged food made on-site will have a full list of ingredients, to highlight any allergenic ingredients.


Parents and Carers can use School Gateway to pay for school dinners, clubs, trips, uniform and more.
View the complete School Gateway App Guide here.

Dining Hall Facilities

Our dining facilities are a large part of day-to-day school life at Castle Rock. We also looked at how we could improve the overall catering experience from the students’ perspective. As an Academy, we were able to bring the catering team in-house and create our own menus, improving the quality and variety of food. We listened to students and implemented a state-of-the-art multimedia system and display screens. The catering team are constantly striving to bring innovation to meal times – We have special menus throughout the year, and various theme days introducing delicious food from around the world.

Free School Meals
Families of children and young people in full-time education at any school maintained by Leicestershire County Council may be entitled to claim free school meals, providing they receive a qualifying benefit. The current criteria for claiming free school meals are as follows:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based).
  • Income Support (IS).
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based).
  • Child Tax Credit, provided the annual taxable income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue is not in excess of £16,190.
  • Families who also receive an award of Working Tax Credit do not qualify to claim for free school meals.
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • Children who receive Income Support (IS) or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax and not including any benefits you get.

Temporary qualification for free school meals

From 1st May 2009 where a parent has been entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, they will be eligible to claim free school meals over that period. Claimants MUST complete a hard copy application form and send it to us with a copy of their Tax Credit Decision Notice, which will be issued immediately by HMRC to a claimant who has notified them that they have stopped working. Applications will not be accepted without this document and free school meals authorisation will not be granted prior to the date of application, or extended beyond the end date shown on the Tax Credit Decision Notice. In order to qualify for free school meals after that date the claimant will need to be in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits listed in the previous section, and evidence of this provided. No other benefits qualify for free school meals.

Applying for Free School Meals is easy. You can: