Welcome to the community of Pace parents.
The school-family relationship is so important to us here at Pace School. You are part of the Pace community. Here, you’ll find answers to questions parents and carers often ask.
Term dates and upcoming events
Autumn term 2022
September 8th – Autumn term begins
October 24th – Half term begins
December 19th – Last day of term
Spring term 2023
January 5th – Spring term begins
February 13th – Half term begins
March 8th – INSET Day, school closed
March 31st – Last day of term
Summer term 2023
April 17th – Summer term begins
May 29th – Half term begins
June 28th – INSET Day, school closed
July 20th – Last day of term
Autumn term 2023
September 7th – Autumn term begins
October 23rd – Half term begins
December 18th – Last day of term
Spring term 2024
January 5th – Spring term begins
February 12th – Half term begins
6th March – INSET day, school closed
28th March – Last day of term
Summer term 2024
April 15th – Summer term begins
6th May – Public holiday, school closed
May 27th – Half term begins
June 26th – INSET day, school closed
July 22nd – Last day of term
Communication with school
Discussions about your child
Your child’s teacher or conductor can talk to you about your child’s progress. This can be done in person, over the phone or via email within school hours.
Day-to-day issues can be discussed at drop-off or pick-up times. But for a fuller discussion about your child, please make an appointment. Our Headteacher and Deputy Headteachers are also available, by appointment, to talk to you about your child’s schooling or therapy programme.
There are two formal staff-parents’ meetings each year to discuss your child’s progress and agree next steps together. These are in addition to the annual review of your child’s Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
You will also be involved in putting together your child’s Personal Learning Goals (PLGs) which set out goals and strategies, across all four areas of the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). You will be contacted well in advance of these meetings to choose a time that works for you.
We use a service called ParentMail to send out letters, updates and regular communications via email . There is a ParentMail app which you can download to your smartphone. You can also receive text messages via ParentMail, which will primarily be used in emergency situations such as a school closure.
Home/school Liaison Book
Your child will have a home/school Liaison Book. This is where you and school staff will record your child’s achievements and activities.
Please add, each day, any changes in your child’s abilities or any other information. Things like small achievements, new words, health updates, your concerns, and family events – such as trips out – are useful for the school to know.
If you have visited doctors, physiotherapists or other health professionals, please note these in the Liaison Book. You should also mention sleepless nights, changes in behaviour or routine, and wellbeing issues.
Please read the staff comments in the Liaison Book, and build on any progress your child is making at school.
Emergency contacts and information
Before your child starts at Pace, it’s useful for us to have as much information as possible about them. Copies of medical or educational reports will be retained on your child’s file, with your permission, and will remain confidential. You have access to all written records about your child, on request.
At the start of each school year, we’ll send home a form called Essential Child Information. It’s very important that you update this and send it back. If the information changes during the year, please let us know as soon as possible.
Our school nursing team will also issue forms annually, so we have updated information about your child’s medication.
Children wear a purple polo shirt and ash grey cardigan or sweatshirt. These should be worn with suitable grey, black or navy loose trousers or shorts.
Please label all your child’s school uniform.
Each day, you need to provide a complete change of clothing/uniform for your child.
- Long hair should be tied back
- No jewellery or expensive clothing
- Studs only for children with pierced ears
- Parents and carers attending with children should wear clothes that allow freedom of movement, ideally free from buttons, zips and jewellery
- Indoor shoes only to be worn inside the classrooms
ORDER UNIFORM HERE
What to bring to school
Please send your child to school with the normal equipment they might use. This could include:
- special eating utensils
- walking aids
- hearing aid equipment
- a change of clothes
- outdoor coat, depending on the weather
Please ensure all items are clearly labelled with your child’s name.
Medication including inhalers should be provided in a plastic container, clearly labelled with your child’s name, the date and dosage on the pharmacy label. Give this directly to a member of staff in your child’s group, so it can be kept safe with the nursing team.
The school day
School starts at 9am and ends at 3pm, Monday to Friday. Your child must arrive on time for the start of school, and should be collected promptly at the end of the day.
Lunch is an important time to develop your child’s eating and drinking skills – but your child’s nutrition and safety are our top priorities.
Please tell us if you child has any food allergies or specific dietary requirements.
If you child eats finger food, you should provide a healthy packed lunch. This may include sandwiches, a piece of fruit and yoghurt, in a labelled container. Chocolate and crisps should be kept to a minimum, and wholemeal bread is a better choice than white bread.
You should also provide drinks and healthy snacks for your child each day. Specific foods or drinks may be requested by your child’s team for learning and/or safety reasons.
Children can have hot meals, we encourage parents to send meals that your child can eat safely. We may ask that your child bring a hot meal to develop their skills with utensils. We can heat up lunches in a microwave here. Please provide full instructions for the safe re-heating of food that you provide.
All lunches prepared by lunchtime staff will be re-heated according to health and hygiene guidelines. You will need to sign a consent form to give us permission to prepare your child’s meal.
If your child has a modified diet, such as blended hot meals, please provide these in the right consistency. Lunchtime staff can adapt the occasional ready-meal if absolutely necessary. We can also provide thickener in powder form for your child.
Due to a severe allergy, small orange fruit such as satsumas, clementines and tangerines are not permitted in school. Large orange fruits such as jaffa oranges are fine.
Getting to and from school
Where to drop off/pick up
The drop off area at Pace School is ONLY for use when you are dropping off or collecting your child. At all other times, please use the car park.
Collection by another person
If someone else, such as a carer or someone from another organisation, is collecting your child, please notify staff in writing in advance, giving the person’s full name and contact details. Anyone collecting a child from Pace will be asked to sign the transport file.
Once a staff member has handed your child over to you, your child’s safety, actions and whereabouts are your responsibility. If you bring your child’s siblings to drop off or pick up, please ensure they stay in the waiting areas with you and do not enter classrooms or make too much noise. Children are not allowed into the kitchen unsupervised.
It is our responsibility to notify the transport department when we cancel your child’s attendance for a reason such as a snow day.
If your child is ill, call 01296 392739 for Coventon Road and 01296 614287 Wendover Road by 8:45am to report their absence. You can log into ParentMail to send a secure message.
When your child returns to school, please send a letter or a note about their absence in the home/school Liaison Book.
If your child needs to be off for something like a hospital appointment, please let your child’s Team Leader know as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to alert your transport provider, for all absences.
For other absences, we only authorise leave in exceptional circumstances. Please book your holidays outside term time. If you wish to take your child out of school, please make the request with enough time for us to consider this carefully. We must inform your Local Authority of any extended absences.
Health and infection
By working together, we can minimise health problems at Pace. Please note our health guidelines:
- Your child cannot return to school after an infectious disease until a doctor has declared them free from infection. Please inform Pace if your child has an infectious disease.
- If your child has diarrhoea and/or vomiting, they should not return to school until 48 hours after the most recent episode.
- If your child has a raised temperature, they should not return to school until their temperature is normal.
- Please check your child’s hair regularly for head lice. Advise staff immediately if you suspect your child has head lice (this will be kept confidential). Your child must be treated before returning to school.
- Cuts or open sores should be covered with an appropriate dressing.
- Please tell your child’s teacher or conductor personally or in writing, on arrival at school if you child has had an injury at home. Please also let us know about any physical complaint, such as pulled muscle. We will also need to know any action your or your GP have taken.
Wherever possible, please administer your child’s medication yourself. However, we know many Pace children will require medication during a school day. So we can administer medication – but we must have prior written content and direction, in line with our medication policy.
Praise and behaviour management
Children thrive in an ordered, safe environment where everyone knows what’s expected of them. We work hard to create an atmosphere of encouragement, where children develop self-confidence and self-esteem.
We reward good behaviour and special effort with a daily merit system. Termly assemblies are held where children receive certificates for achieving their own milestones.
Some children at Pace require physical facilitation to help them gain motor skills.
In terms of behaviour management, we rarely need to use physical intervention. If it is required, we use physical intervention only as a last resort. This is in line with DfE advice. We ensure the risk of injury to pupils and staff is minimal.
Bullying is very rare at Pace, due to the age and specific needs of our children. However, bullying of any kind is unacceptable in our school and we deal with incidences promptly and effectively.
All our pupils have a fundamental right to be protected from harm – and we have a pastoral responsibility for the children and young people in our school. The safety of each child is of paramount importance and overrides all other considerations.
If you are concerned about a child – or if an allegation has been made to you against a member of staff or volunteer – you should immediately report this to our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Claire Smart (Headteacher). In Claire’s absence, report to the Deputy DSL Fin O’Driscoll or Sheena Lee.
Feedback, concerns and complaints
At Pace we are open to receiving your feedback at any time, Ofsted offer the opportunity for you to feedback on how happy your child and how well the school supports them.
We do our very best for your child. But we know there may be times when people want to raise concerns or complaints. We take this very seriously. See below our complaints procedure.
How to lodge your complaint
Where you feel school have been unable to resolve the complaint or you feel it serious to, you can lodge a complaint with Ofsted at:
Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WS
Tel: 0300 123 1231