The PACE Centre


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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day
  • Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational
  • Roll: (Boys) (Girls)
  • Age Range: 4 - 16 years

General Information

Pace is a family centred charity that provides innovative education for children with sensory motor disorders based on the belief that every child has the ability to learn and tailored to the child’s individual needs.


Our team comprises specialist occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and conductive and early educationalists. This breadth of expertise means we are able to make a comprehensive assessment of your child’s needs.

We use a range of different treatment approaches. Sessions may focus on communication, movement and other skill development, often based on play. Intensive blocks of therapy over 3-5 days can be arranged if you live too far to travel for weekly sessions. We have an onsite residential flat to allow families to stay with us while they are attending one of our intensive blocks.

Feeding and sleeping challenges can be difficult for parents of children with developmental and motor difficulties. In 2017 we will be launching sleeping clinics to provide tailored support and advice to families experiencing challenges in this area.

School:- Little Acorns is our nursery group where early therapeutic intervention is combined with The Early Years Foundation Curriculum, to provide a unique approach for children aged 2-4 with sensory motor challenges.

Primary school age 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. Due to the complex nature of many Pace children, Pace also has an onsite nursing team.

Key Stage 3 provision was established at Pace in September 2015 and has proven both effective and attractive. Children in KS3 benefit from a highly personalised functional and life skills based curriculum to help prepare them for their future lives as young adults in the community. There are opportunities to develop and apply their problem solving and academic skills, for example through purposeful trips to the supermarket followed by cooking activities, which have been carefully planned to work on particular gross/fine motor and mathematical skills.

The KS3 integrated curriculum also includes the ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) ‘New Horizons’ programme, which is a PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) and citizenship learning programme designed for young people with special educational needs. It offers a nationally accredited way to record and celebrate skills and achievement in these curriculum areas.

Community Outreach:- Pace offers a highly personalised ‘whole child’ integrated curriculum for school placed children aged 4-14. Rather than being defined by a single methodology, Pace has developed its own unique ‘transdisciplinary’ methodology and curriculum approach. The Pace approach of integrating therapy into the education curriculum allows our specialist therapists and educators to provide adapted programmes for inclusion in academic, PE, art and design and ICT curricula and to meet the requirements of their Education, Health and Care Plan.

Open Days

All visits are welcome. For more information:


Please contact The Pace Centre for details.


Ofsted report 2016

School Contact Details

The PACE Centre
Philip Green House
Coventon Road
HP19 9JL

[t]: 01296 614 287

Location Description

The Pace School (KS2 and KS3) is based at: the address above.

Pace Early Years Centre and Reception (KS1) class is based at: The Bradbury Campus, 156 Wendover Road, Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5TE

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School News

The PACE Centre, education for children with sensory motor disorders, Buckinghamshire

“Cerys first came to Pace four years ago when she was a baby. Cerys suffered significant brain damage very soon after birth. Initially when she

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was a baby she couldn’t lift her head, both her hands were clenched into fists, her eyes did not respond, she just stared into nothing. She was “a little lump”. That was how she came home from hospital, and we were told that was how she would always be – that there was no hope of improvement and that was that”.

“But we didn’t give up! We found out about Pace and thought there was no harm in giving them a try. And that was one of the most important things initially – Pace gave us hope, which is so important. Parents need to be able to believe in their child and not take what the doctors say as the be all and end all. I remember the first assessment at Pace with Szilvia (Conductor), Julia (Occupational Therapist) and Laurel (Speech and Language Therapist). They started playing with her using bubbles, toys, and other things that appeal to babies and young children, and they began to see reactions. There were indications that she liked one toy more than another. Tiny indications, which might seem minimal for a normal child, but so important for a child like Cerys, showing that there is potential, creating hope”.

Cerys and her family went on to access intensive early intervention at Pace through our PIPS (Parent and Infant Service) provision. The rationale for what Pace provides to families through PIPS is based on powerful neuro scientific research on the link between neuroplasticity and early intervention. Neuroplasticity refers to the way in which neural pathways develop, interconnect and form new connections.

Neuroplasticity allows for environmental influences to change the way in which the brain makes connections, in effect, the way we learn from experience, and is particularly important in relation to cerebral palsy and brain injury because it allows for the “re mapping” of neural pathways where there has been damage to the existing pathways.

Research has shown that levels of neuroplasticity are at their highest in the early months and years of life – a period in which neuroplasticity is at its most active and consequently the brain is most responsive to sensory motor experience and environmental learning. It is these factors which support the scientific basis for programmes of intensive early intervention for children with neurological damage such as our PIPS service. Our programmes offer goal-directed and intensely experiential sensory motor and communication input to mitigate the functional effects of the initial damage to the child’s brain. These functional effects are well illustrated by the difficulties that Cerys presented us with when she came through our doors for the first time.

So what did Cerys and her family do at Pace?

“They worked with our transdisciplinary paediatric team of occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, conductor (a professional trained in working with people with movement  disorders) and physiotherapist in holistic programmes which integrated all aspects of early infant experiences, with a strong emphasis on sensory motor experiences and intensive communication. Her parents learnt how to play with Cerys and not be anxious about rough and tumble. They learnt how to use sensory strategies to arouse Cerys so that she was alert enough to play, learn, laugh and initiate communication and also how to sooth and settle her when it was time to rest and sleep.”

So how is Cerys now?

“She can hold her head up, she reacts to everything, she is bilingual – (mum is German and dad is British – she can understand both languages). She is non-verbal, but she can use her hands and her eyes to make choices and make herself understood using symbols. And she is now being assessed for an Eye Gaze ICT communication system. She is starting to sit up. Sitting, she can be cross-legged with her arms stretched out and her hands on the floor – she has developed enough core strength to do this, and I believe that it’s all thanks to Szilvia, who makes sure, as she is working with Cerys, that she spends as much time as possible not just sitting passively in her chair. Now she can use her hands to grip toys, and the next thing to work towards is being able to  pass things from one hand to the other. And most recently she is even now starting to stand, with her feet flat on the floor. Balance is an issue, and she tends to lean forwards, but she is getting stronger and stronger, and beginning to get a feel for what walking is like.

There will be more and more improvement. Pace is helping Cerys improve her sense of balance by making lots of use of swings, and making all these exercises FUN – working them in with some singing or a game. When the team gets an idea of something she really likes – a particular toy or song – they are able to use this to make her work harder, through play – for example if they want her to roll they can encourage her to roll towards the toy that she wants to play with. This doesn’t happen in the NHS sessions – abilities are assessed in isolation, in an empty room, with no sense of fun, no incentive. What child is going to sit or roll to order when there is no fun involved?

We all really enjoy coming to Pace. Cerys likes seeing Szilvia, who is her main point of contact. Continuity is extremely important – the service is not disjointed as it can be in the NHS. You are not constantly seeing new people and having to spend half the session time explaining Cerys’s needs and re-assessing her. Regular and frequent are also crucial – the input needs to be at least weekly, ideally more, so that at each session you can capitalise on the ones that have gone before – again, not to keep having to restart because there has been a massive time gap since the last session. NHS sessions are every 4-6 weeks if you are lucky, which is really so infrequent it is almost a waste of time – you virtually have to start again each time. They do give you exercises to do at home, but these are not “wrapped up in play” as they are at Pace. The things Cerys does at Pace are fun so she is motivated to do them”.

Ofsted has rated Pace Outstanding for the fifth consecutive time! The visit that took place between 29th November and 1st December 2016 enabled Pace staff

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to showcase how our integrated curriculum, expertise and belief in every child’s ability to achieve, positively impacts on the progression of the children that attend Pace.

“The curriculum is wide ranging and highly effective. Communication, personal and physical development are prominent in all lessons. Lessons are adapted very well so that all pupils can experience a range of subjects at the right level.”

The inspection found that “Pupils make rapid progress against their individual targets. This is because teaching and continuous support from a wide range of professionals accurately meets pupils’ needs.”  and that “Pupils are extremely focused, diligent and resilient. Strong personal development ensures that pupils are well equipped to persevere and succeed”.

At Pace, our core values drive all that we do and we are proud to say that some of the key findings from the recent report reflect those values.

Achievement:   “Staff use assessment very well to identify pupils’ next steps accurately. This, coupled with their high expectations, ensures that work is challenging for all pupils, including the most able. “

Child and community focused: “The care of pupils is at the heart of the school’s work. Staff form strong relationships with pupils that help them to feel safe and happy at school.”

“In class and around the school, pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They are kind and caring friends to each other and very well mannered towards staff.”

Dedication: “Leaders take time to review the impact of their work and highlight where they need to make improvements to the provision. They have rightly recognised the need to strengthen further the work that they do to prepare pupils for the future.”

Pace were ranked Outstanding in all four key areas:

  • Effectiveness of leadership and management – Outstanding
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment – Outstanding
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare – Outstanding
  • Outcomes for pupils – Outstanding

The inspectors report can be read in full here.


Yesterday we held our first whole school Science curriculum day based on the topic of ‘Materials’.

The children from our two sites came together to take

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part in workshops to explore, describe and test different materials, to use the materials to solve problems and to explore the materials in the dark room under UV light.

The day started with the children hearing the story of how the elephant got his trunk.  The elephant had no trunk and was a very smelly creature and the children were encouraged to use the various materials to solve problems for him.  They needed to make the elephant something to swish away the flies, something to hold water so he could have a wash, and something to reach the different parts of his body to have a good scrub.

The groups came together again at the end of the day and the children shared all the wonderful inventive ways in which they had made objects to solve the elephant’s problems.   A great day was had by all of our budding scientists with lots of hands on exploring and problem solving taking place.

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