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Eating at school

The canteen provides a range of food for the students at Breakfast Club (available from 8.00 am, prior to this time students cannot be supervised), at Lunchtime and at Break. We work closely with our catering staff to ensure food is healthy, nutritious and complies with the government’s Healthy Eating initiative.

All staff and parents will be anxious to encourage students in making appropriate food choices.  We work hard to ensure students understand how to establish and maintain a healthy diet, including the nutritional value of food stuffs.

In order to reinforce the healthy eating agenda, and to comply with the government’s nutritional standards, the school does not supply or sell the following types of food:

  • sugary drinks;
  • carbonated drinks other than sparkling water;
  • chocolate bars;
  • crisps;
  • pre-packaged biscuits.

Other items such as deep-fried food (ie chips) are available on an occasional basis.

Students are not permitted to bring fizzy drinks or energy drinks to school, we reserve the right to confiscate these. They should bring a clear, see-through plastic bottle filled with water, which can be replenished during the day from a number of taps and water dispensers around the Academy.

This decision was taken many years ago based on health grounds and the desire to establish a positive learning environment.  If you allow your son or daughter to consume 500ml of energy drinks per day, you may like to know that these contain more than 12 teaspoons of sugar and 160mg of caffeine – the equivalent of 4 cans of cola. The consumption of such carbonated high sugar and high caffeine drinks can have a negative impact on concentration levels and ultimately on achievement.  The Academy also wishes to reinforce this ban on fizzy and energy drinks as research shows that the increase in consumption of sugared drinks is one of the key reasons for dental decay, particularly in children (British Dental Health Foundation www.dentalhealth.org).

Cashless Catering

We run a cashless catering service called VeriCool for Schools. We usually enrol the new Year 7 students on their first full day in September: we run a cash service (for the new Year 7 students only) on that day and on the transition days. For the next day, accounts should be credited via ParentPay.

ParentPay – ParentPay is an e-payment solution for schools and is the Academy’s preferred option for accepting payments for catering and trips/visits. ParentPay enables funds to be administered to a child’s account by credit or debit card over the Internet. There is a link here to Parent pay or at the top menu of this website. A letter with your log-in details will be sent home with your son/daughter on the first day of term. If you have any difficulty accessing your ParentPay account, please contact the Finance Department on 01480 223336/37.

How the System Works
When enrolled, having made their choice in the canteen, each student places their finger on a scanner to make a payment for their food. No cash or swipe card is required. During the enrolment process the software captures a digital signature of your child’s fingertip, which is then broken down into data points, similar to reference points on a map. VeriCool then turns these into an alpha numeric string which is then encrypted (jumbled so no one else can read it) and stored on our own Academy ICT server. It is not the same as fingerprinting.

We also use the VeriCool system for the Academy’s Library and signing in and out of the building for all students.

Once your child goes off the Academy’s roll, his/her biometric information will be securely deleted.

If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time, this must be done in writing and sent to Longsands Academy. Your child may also withdraw his/her consent at any time; this must be communicated to the relevant Key Stage team.

Lunchtime Arrangements

Students in Years 7 – 10 are not allowed to leave the site at lunchtime.
Please see details regarding leaving and arriving at school during the school day which can
be found in the ‘Information for New Parents’ booklet.

New Parents booklet PDF

Year 11 students – lunchtime arrangements
As a privilege of being in Year 11, certain students will be granted a lunch pass to allow
them off site at lunchtime only (not during morning break). Lunch passes are subject to a
student having a record of good conduct and attendance and are available from
Mrs Stockwell, KS4 Senior Support Officer. Please make your application in writing to
Mrs Stockwell and allow a week for processing.

Free School Meals

You can make an application on-line to Cambridgeshire County Council for free school meals.  Their system will check your child’s entitlement to free school meals and if they are eligible for the secondary school clothing allowance.  To apply, please follow this link: