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Cashless Catering

Castle Rock 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 £3.50 is in place for students - this can be raised or lowered with parental permission. Free School Meal students automatically receive a daily allowance of £2.35.

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.

Benefits of the cashless catering system include:

  • Increased speed of service reducing queuing 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.

Dining Hall Facilities


Our dining facilities are a large part of day-to-day school life at Castle Rock. During 2013 the dining hall was extensively refurbished and redecorated with new flooring and furniture.

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 - last term we had special menus for Halloween and Christmas, and various theme days introducing delicious food from around the world.

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

  • Breakfast Club - 08.00 to 08.50
  • Break Time - 11.20 to 11.40
  • Lunch Time - 12.45 to 13.30
  • Twilight Club - 15.40 to 16.30 (Mon to Thurs) 15.40 to 16.00 (Friday)

Packed lunches brought into school may be eaten in the dining hall.

Link - School Gateway Online Payments