Introduction to PATHS

Little Plumstead Primary School launched PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) in September 2016.

PATHS is a programme of lessons and strategies that helps children to manage their emotions, communicate effectively and problem solve independently.  It takes a holistic approach which includes all children, adults and families.  A short video clip about PATHS can be seen at

The programme is taught twice weekly with daily compliment sessions and develops year on year with special features for infant school children, including a PATHS pupil of the day (Special person). The programme is intended to be supported at home.  PATHS forms part of the PSHE curriculum as well as covering some British Values.  Especially in KS1 you should regular updates as to what you child is doing in PATHS with home activities to share with your child.

PATHS helps children with

  • Self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control
  • Frustration & anger management
  • Attention and concentration
  • Thinking before they act out in anger
  • Emotional understanding
  • Expressing their feelings in a positive way
  • Understanding that all feelings are okay, but some behaviours are not ok
  • Preparing for change (e.g. moving to high school)
  • PATHS works around 3 key features


All feelings are ok. Some feelings are comfortable (yellow) and others are uncomfortable (blue).   Children are taught how to recognise feelings, what it feels like and what these feelings might look like in other people.  The children build up a set of cards so they can show and talk about how they are feeling.  These may be some use at home too, so there are a set of feelings card here that can be printed off (comfortable and uncomfortable).


Not all behaviours are ok.  Children need help to manage their uncomfortable feelings so they can make positive behaviour choices. They are taught how to calm down. 

Calming down - “Doing Turtle”

Children in Reception/Year 1 learn to calm down.

•          Stop and give yourself a hug

•          Take a long, deep breath       

•          Say the problem and how you feel.

Information for Parents

We have collated some documents to support our PATHS work in school.  If there is something you would like us to add, please let the school know.

Click on the links below to access the documents.

Problem Solving

Children in Year 2 – 6 learn that calming down is the first step of problem solving. The Control Signals (traffic lights) is a strategy to help them solve problems.

Children have two PATHS lessons each week. However in order to apply these strategies outside the classroom they need to see adults modelling calming down. They also need regular reminders that calming down is a positive behaviour choice. Praise children when they make the choice to take themselves away from a situation/calm down rather than reacting to a situation.

PATHS Pupil of the Day

Children wear a badge to show they are the special person of the day. They receive privileges (eg. first in the queue, sit on a special chair/cushion/help the teacher)

Give them a compliment if you see them around the school.


Compliments build self-esteem and are key to PATHS so every day the pupil of the day receives compliments from their teachers, the peers, family and finally they have to compliment themselves.  This is the part the children really enjoy.  Each class keeps the compliments in a special book.