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® supports 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 in 116 Norfolk primary schools, supporting over 22,000 pupils.

What people say about PATHS®


“The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding. School leaders have ensured that pupils are well cared for and have effective support so that they develop into confident learners. As a result, pupils develop high-quality social and academic skills.”

What children say

“PATHS is good because you get a chance talk about feelings and stuff you would not normally talk about it. It has helped me to speak to teachers and not keep it inside.
It has helped me to know that feelings are ok and they are perfectly normal."
"Sometimes I get angry and I do not know what to do. PATHS helps me because I know how to calm down by “Doing Turtle”.

Responses from parents and carers

“I feel PATHS is a great tool to help children deal with strong emotions. My child has used it at home including telling Mummy and Daddy when they need to use the strategies, so it has had a great calming impact on the whole family. I highly recommend it!” 
“We love the Pupil of the Day concept and use it as a valuable opportunity to celebrate my child’s strengths.” 

Views from school staff

“They love the compliments sessions and this has helped raise self-esteem and acceptance of others."
"PATHS helps give children the language necessary for solving conflicts and negotiating when problems arise."
"When we are doing PATHS the children are more reflective about what they are feeling and after the event, able to see what steps they could possibly have taken to resolve the situation."
"Skills learnt in PATHS lessons have contributed towards developing a supportive, collaborative community in the classroom and helped children to develop empathy as well as to talk about their own feelings.”

Impact of PATHS® on all children within 10 months

  • 23.8% to 29.2% improvement in Social and Emotional Competence
  • 17.0% to 24.6% improvement in Pro-Social Skills
  • 14.8% improvement in Concentration and Attention

Find out more

To find out more please contact:

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