Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

Developing social and emotional skills to build a foundation for learning

PATHS® is an evidence based, social and emotional programme for all pupils aged 5 to 11. PATHS® support pupils to develop social and emotional skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making and relationship skills). PATHS® includes a structured curriculum, support for children to apply skills to new contexts and extend learning to the home environment.

Schools are supported to develop a whole school approach through:

  • Structured PATHS® curriculum with regular support from a PATHS® Coach
  • Training for all staff and support for lunchtime staff
  • Parent and carer engagement
  • Support to evaluate the impact on pupils 

PATHS®  is being delivered 116 Norfolk primary schools supporting over 20,000 pupils.

Comment from Ofsted:

"The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.  Leaders place an extremely high focus on pupils’ emotional well-being and as a result, pupils are eager to learn and impeccably well behaved.  They use the strategies they learn to manage their own emotions and behaviour at school and at home."

Responses from parents and carers:

"I think this is a great strategy for dealing with issues and building resilience."
"My son did ‘Turtle’ on me one day when I was angry.  It was like having therapy from my 6 year old!"

What children say:

"Pupil of the Day is like an extra birthday.  You get to feel special for the day."
"Feeling cards make me think about what to do."
"It has helped me and others to calm down."

 Impact of PATHS on all children within 10 months 

  • 21.2% to 27.4% improvement in social and emotional competence
  • 14.6% to 20.2% improvement in pro-social skills
  • 15.6% improvement in concentration and attention

 To find out more please contact: PATHS@norfolk.gov.uk