We don’t think it’s fair that so many children, young people and adults are unable to access the services we offer, services which we passionately believe can improve their lives. Our vision is to ensure we no longer have to turn people away.
Paces is special. We are one of the country’s leading centres for Conductive Education and we know our vision is ambitious but needed.
- A 64 FTE place school (creating both full time and part time SEN places – supporting up to 80 school children) and an Outreach
and ‘In-reach’ programme for 0-4’s supporting 28 children.
- An assisted living facility for 20 individuals – 10 adult assisted living overnight places and 10 children assisted living overnight places.
- A 12 place adult day service.
- An adult sessional programme supporting 100+ people each week.
- Hydrotherapy facilities.
What is Conductive Education?
Conductive Education (CE) is a holistic integrated educational system, which enables people with damage to the central nervous system to learn to overcome the challenges they face. Differing from a traditional therapeutic approach, CE views the person as a whole, seeking to develop the personality and promote confidence and self-esteem in all aspects of their development.
The ethos of CE allows people to actively work towards their potential, focusing on what they can do or could do rather than putting limits on potential. Central to Conductive Education is the individual working as a part of a group led by a qualified Conductor Teacher, encouraging social interaction and the opportunity to be motivated by and to learn from others. Conductors have a degree in Conductive Education and are supported by skilled assistants and as a team, they carefully observe progress and use a variety of facilitation approaches to maximise learning and ensure it is transferred across the day.
What are the benefits and who is it for?
CE benefits people who have neurological motor disorders, for example Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and acquired brain injury. Neurological motor disorders effect all aspects of a person’s development (physical, cognitive, communication, social, emotional) and all these areas interrelate and impact on learning. Rather than compartmentalising these different aspects, CE meets needs holistically, recognising the importance of seeing any type of learning within the context of the whole person and all of their challenges.
Conductive Education at Paces
Paces school delivers the National Curriculum within the framework of Conductive Education for pupils from nursery age through to the end of secondary. Every morning, the pupils take part in a Task Series which allows them to learn about their bodies through a series of physical tasks in lying, sitting and standing positions, promoting independence and problem solving.
The skills learnt are then transferred and applied through the rest of the day in a range of contexts, for example, during self-care activities and curriculum lessons. This means that the Conductor leading a session understands all the needs of the pupils in their class and how to meet them holistically within the group. The Conductor is therefore skilled at differentiating activities, addressing the needs of the whole group whilst ensuring learning is personalised.
Pupils are always encouraged to be active participators and not passive observers. For example, within a maths lesson, the Conductor will plan the session to promote the pupils’ understanding of maths whilst also giving them opportunities to develop their physical skills, their communication and their social interaction- understanding that all of these areas impact on each other and therefore need to be addressed simultaneously.
Similarly, lunch and snack are viewed not only as times for the pupils to become more independent with their eating and drinking, but also as times to develop sitting stability, make choices and interact with their peers.
At Paces, each Conductor leads a team of highly skilled assistants who understand the complexities of children with motor disorders and sees each aspect of the day as an opportunity to learn. The relationships between the Conductor, the assistants and the pupils are paramount to the pupils feeling safe and developing a sense of belief in themselves and their ability to achieve and make progress.
Our Adult Day Provision
The 18+ programme at Paces Sheffield focusses on exploring opportunities to lead a meaningful and independent life. This is through enterprise activities – e.g. craft projects – and is designed specifically to suit the special interests of our adult learners. They also have opportunities to develop daily living skills by planning their own menus and cooking their own meals.
Adult Sessional Programmes
We also run weekly Conductive Education sessions for people dealing with the impact of having had a Stroke. These sessions are designed to overcome the challenges they now face. Our aim is to extend this sessional provision to help people living with Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
Overnight Assisted Living
We are very excited that our new School and Charity building will benefit from overnight assisted provision. Up to 20 bedrooms will be constructed, which we hope will support our children and adults, together with their families, within in our Paces community.
New State-of-the-Art Facilities
Every aspect of our new build proposals will be focused on state-of the-art facilities for our children and adults. Our new Centre of Excellence will have the most integrated IT and technological provision, and the facility will also benefit from life skills kitchens, sensory rooms and a multi-purpose hydro facility.
Part of the Community
Paces was born out of the desire that all our children and adults should be part of their wider community. The Charity has always focused on offering their facilities for community benefit, and as Paces aspires for even higher quality facilities this will remain a core focus. The proposed new Charity Café will be open to the public and other key facilities like our school hall, meeting rooms and also our new hydro facility will be available so that everyone in the local community can benefit. Paces has always had very strong relationships with their local community and, as the Charity looks to the future at a new site, this will remain a core priority for us all.