Primary School

Pace / Pace School / Primary School

The children we work with

Children who attend our school groups have needs ranging from very complex learning challenges relating to their sensory motor difficulties, to children who have mild to moderate physical difficulties and related learning needs. Children are placed in groups according to their age, abilities and challenges. Some children in our services have visual and/or hearing impairment in addition to their motor disorders and curriculum delivery is carefully modified to meet these additional needs. Due to the complex nature of many Pace children, Pace also has an onsite nursing team.

Pace offers a highly personalised ‘whole child’ integrated curriculum for school placed children aged 3-16. Rather than being defined by a single methodology, Pace has developed its own unique ‘transdisciplinary’ methodology and curriculum approach.

“ Transdisciplinary practice involves a team of professionals working together to deliver individually tailored intervention services to children and their families … Role release is a defining aspect of transdisciplinary practice.” (Northcott, Australia)

Further details can be found in our Curriculum Statement, Teaching and Learning Policy and Planning and Assessment Policy.

Our integrated curriculum

Our approach draws on best practice from varied clinical and educational disciplines to provide a rich and individually tailored learning environment for our children.

At the heart of the Pace integrated curriculum lies the relationship between postural, movement, sensory and perceptual skills and how they impact on conceptual/academic learning.

The integrated curriculum therefore gives priority to developing essential foundation skills that are prerequisite to conceptual and cognitive development and is planned to meet the total needs of our pupils. The transdisciplinary team consider the child as a whole and take into consideration all of their goals when planning their lessons. Lessons are highly differentiated and assessment is ongoing to ensure continued progress.

Our integrated approach provides learning opportunities for children to practice and extend their skills as learners. It also reflects our commitment to meeting the diverse needs of the children as individuals and to promoting their inclusion in the learning process within the school, home and community.

Depending on need, many children at Pace are offered the opportunity to take part in highly tailored hydrotherapy programmes as part of their individual integrated curriculum timetable. These sessions are carefully planned and delivered by our highly trained physiotherapy team.

The latest National Curriculum Guidance and latest guidance relating to the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) underpins the academic component of the integrated curriculum according to the age of the children concerned, which is taught through a thematic topic based three year rolling programme. This ensures broad and balanced curriculum coverage for all children, where prior learning is built on purposefully and consistently while avoiding repetition for children who may change groups at the start of a new academic year. Where the use of phonics is deemed appropriate and accessible for an individual or group, then ‘Jolly Phonics’ is used and adapted within the Pace integrated approach.

Our specialist integrated approach is well suited to meet the full range of learning needs.  We offer both a Pre-Formal and a Formal Curriculum strand which can be further tailored to meet individual needs and curriculum access requirements.

Pre-Formal Curriculum Strand 

For children working at a lower cognitive level, Pace delivers a specialist Pre-Formal curriculum incorporating a bespoke, accessible sensory programme in which small progress steps can be accurately set and tracked.  The curriculum focuses on ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Exploring and Ordering the World’. 

 The Pre-Formal curriculum at Pace has a strong focus on pre-requisite learning skills that facilitate curriculum access and active learning and on developing functional communication and meaningful interaction skills which unlock the personalities and capabilities of each individual.   

 Our experience has shown us that students who require a pre-formal curriculum often require targeted intervention to develop their skills in initiation (of communication, exploration and interaction). These skills are critical to unlocking continued progress at a pre-formal level and are a key component of developing a child as an active agent of their learning. Tight integration of specialist speech and language therapy within Paces integrated practice facilitates the development of this aspect of learning.   

Formal Curriculum Strand 

Children in the Pace formal strand have a more developed sense of agency and the skill to initiate. The outcomes for them therefore focus much more around achieving their full academic potential, with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills, delivered though our deep and rich curriculum.  

 The academic component of the Formal strand of the Pace integrated curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). A three-year rolling programme ensures curriculum breadth for every child and young person. 

 The Pace Formal Curriculum Strand is designed to: 

  • Facilitate meaningful access to a full academic curriculum 
  • Equip children and young people with the skills they need to actively participate and become more independent in a range of functional skills e.g. eating, dressing, toileting 
  • Develop age appropriate social skills 
  • Offer opportunities to interact with others using verbal and non-verbal communication skills  
  • Develop the skills required to interact with the environment using a range of play and perceptual skills  
  • Enable children and young people to learn to move independently both on the floor and against gravity. 

(See ‘Teaching and Learning Policy’ and ‘Planning and Assessment Policy’.)

An outstanding education for life

Pace School Services strive to:

Pace 1   Demonstrate outstanding outcomes for children, attributable to the Pace integrated education approach through the development of theory and practice at the school and beyond into our outreach and consultancy services.

Pace 2   Provide an ‘education for life’, which looks ahead to a child’s true potential in terms of independent functional access to learning and society.

At Pace, we endeavour to prepare the children for their future lives in 3 key ways:

Pace 1   By developing a positive problem solving personality that will allow the child to tackle the challenges that their adult life may present.

Pace 2   By teaching the skills that the child will need to be as active and independent as possible in all areas. These include gross and fine motor skills, mobility, self care, communication, academic, and social and emotional.

pace 3   By providing opportunities to experience places and activities within the community with the support of skilled staff. These may include visits to cafés, shops, the library, the garden centre, swimming pools and a range of recreational and leisure venues.

SATs

Pace 4  Where appropriate, Pace children take part in age related statutory tests such as KS2 ‘Standardised Assessment Tests’ (SATs). The decision in relation to whether or not the children take part is based on their ability to access the test according to the National Curriculum level at which they are working. In some cases, Pace children benefit from taking part in such tests in terms of developing their experience and skills. No external examinations or accreditation was undertaken during the academic year 2018-19.

Real life stories

Henry

Henry is 6 1/2 years old and has been coming to Pace since he was 6 months old. He seems to enjoy coming to school so much and especially loves his teachers.

He has cerebral palsy which affects both of his arms and legs, his trunk control and his ability to talk but through school, he is learning to use a powered wheelchair with a head-switch and communicates with the use of a pod-book and eye-gaze technology on a computer.

He lives with his Mum and Dad and two older brothers, who he adores.

His favourite things are tractors and he loves to ride his trike. He also likes to play football with his brothers (with help from Mum and Dad). He loves being outside, doing what boys do and going for walks in his buggy.

He really enjoys swimming and loves splashing in the bath at bath time. He is also able to go horse riding every Friday with school. So as you can see, he is a very busy and happy boy!!

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