Key Dates:

Thursday 11th July - Sports Day

Monday 15th July - The Bridge Paultons Park Trip

Tuesday 16th July - Year 7 & 8 Chessington Trip - All students attending this trip must arrive on site by 8:20am.

Wednesday 17th July - Year 9 & 10 Thorpe Park Trip - All students attending this trip must arrive on site by 8:20am.

Friday 19th July - End of term, school closes at 12:30pm

School Lunches

The Portsmouth Academy is partnered with Chartwells, one of the leading catering providers in education. We aim to provide healthy eating habits for our students to ensure they are able to develop in the right way and have the energy required to focus on their studies. 

"At the heart of our offer is freshly prepared, great-tasting and attractively presented food that’s fully nutritionally analysed by our expert in-house team. We put the highest possible emphasis on healthy, balanced, nutritionally compliant school meals that provide excellent value for money." - Chartwells 

We will not be using any cash payment, including the reval machine we previously used by the main hall,  All payments will need to be made by Iris PlusPay via the MyEd app.   For the initial period while parents are setting up PlusPay, food and drinks can still be purchased, and the payment will taken when money is loaded into PlusPay.

If there is bad weather students will be in the sports hall and main hall.

Times of breaks and lunch

Morning Break
Year 7, 8 & 9 : 10:00am - 10:30am    Year 10 & 11:  11:00am-11:30am
Lunch Break
Year 7, 8 & 9 : 12:30pm - 1:00pm     Year 10 & 11:  1:30pm - 2:00pm


Free School Meals 

Free School Meals pupils get a daily allowance of £2.80 per day.  If they spend more than this (e.g. have an extra snack at breaktime) any spend over that value will be charged to their PlusPay account, and will need to be paid for.  If you wish for them to be able to spend over £2.80, you will need to add credit to your PlusPay account.

The daily allowance is not carried over, and their balance is topped up to £2.80 every day. The free school meal balance is only displayed on the kitchen tills and not on PlusPay. The balance on PlusPay only indicates how money has been paid into the account by parents.

For more details on PlusPay click here.

For your child to be eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) you will need be in receipt of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • 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)

If you are in receipt of one of the benefits above, you will need to apply to Portsmouth City Council (PCC).

You can do this by applying online at

Once PCC have assessed your child’s eligibility, they will send you a letter with the outcome and will include your child’s status on the weekly list that is sent to the school.


Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to some commonly asked questions about school lunches below. Please contact the school office if you require further assistance.

The free school meal allowance for the 2023/2024 academic year is £2.80.

Students who are entitled to free school meals have two balances running concurrently; a free school meal balance and a cash balance. If a student spends more than their FSM allowance of £2.80 in a day, they will start accruing a cash overdraft. For example, if they spend £2.95 in a single transaction, the entirety of their £2.80 FSM allowance is applied to the purchase and they will have an overdraft of –15p. We recommend that parents monitor their children's account and top it up regularly to cover any overspending.

The cost of a main meal is £2.45. Meal Deals which include a main meal, snack, and bottle of water costs £2.70. Each student has individual needs but for the majority of students £2.45 to £5.00 a day is sufficient amount for them to spend.

Please fill in this online form We will contact Chartwells on your behalf to request that they look into the transaction. Chartwells will make the final decision as to whether to issue a refund. The school cannot issue refunds for lunch purchases as all money for lunches are paid directly to Chartwells.

For some students, particularly Year 7s, it may be the first time they have had the responsibility of making their own meal choices and may overspend. Please have a discussion with your child regarding your expectations for their spending. Agree with your child when they can make purchases the canteen, for example at lunchtime only. Agree on a set amount of money that your child should spend each day. Discourage them from making purchases for friends. Encourage them to ask for the price of items from canteen staff to track their spending. Provide your child with a drink and/or small snack for break time while they adjust to later lunch times. If overspending continues to be an issue with your child, please contact the school to discuss putting a spending cap on your child’s account.

The caterers allow students to have a maximum overdraft of £2.45. They have the discretion to refuse service to students who have an overdraft or insufficient funds in their account to complete their purchase. This includes students in receipt of free school meals. If a child is refused service in the Canteen, we advise them to seek help from a member of duty staff or go to Reception without delay. They should not wait until the end of lunch. Staff will look into their account and contact parents to top up their PlusPay account if needed. PlusPay sends automatic email notifications to students with low funds. Please look for these emails and top up your child’s account when required.

The school’s caterers Chartwells operate a cashless system. All funds paid into students’ lunch accounts are sent directly to Chartwells and the school cannot accept cash on their behalf.

The free school meal balance is only displayed on the kitchen tills and not on PlusPay. The balance on PlusPay only indicates how money has been paid into the account by parents.

Chartwells to Eat Well 

We know that what your child eats has a direct impact on how well they engage in learning, which is why all of our TSAT schools work with Chartwells; the leading catering provider in the education sector.

Chartwells mission statement; If we can provide children with the food they want to eat, they will have full tummies, which will provide nourishment and mean their sugar levels remain stable. This in turn supports good mental health, leading to increased concentration and better results.

Chartwells purpose: Nourish every young mind and body with exceptional food and learning.

Dining Style 

Secondary schools have a cafeteria-style service, usually before school for breakfast, at mid-morning break as well as lunchtime. The menus provide a wide and varied choice of foods to appeal to all tastes from traditional favorites to new street-food trends. We have meal deal options available at lunch to provide value for money choices.


All Chartwells staff are allergen trained and with the choice of food available will help students manage their own medical needs. Allergen reports are always available and teams on hand to support with queries about ingredients to allow pupils to make informed menu choices.

Specific Diets

Medical diets are an extremely important part of the school catering provision. Chartwells have a dedicated Medical Diets Team who support all medical diet queries and requests whether it be alleviating parent concerns or creating bespoke menus for single or multiple allergens. The medical diets team are available all year round to support the catering teams and pupils to eat safely and enjoy a Chartwells school meal where possible. More information can be found on their site.