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Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

The PATHS Programme

The school is a member of a 3-year pilot project with the Internationally renowned PATHS® Programme, linked to the UK charity, Barnardos.  PATHs® stands for Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies and empowers all children to develop the fundamental social and emotional learning skills which will enable them to make positive choices throughout life. We believe that implementing The PATHS® Programme will improve outcomes for the children in our school.

With the removal of PSHE from the National Curriculum, Kew Riverside wanted to provide children with an effective social-cognitive programme because children often show difficulties in social problem-solving, self-control, affective understanding and self-esteem. The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) provides our teachers and other adults with a systematic developmental procedure for enhancing social competence and understanding in children. It addresses the following goals:

Increased self-control, i.e., the ability to stop and think before acting when upset or confronted with a conflict situation. Lessons in this area also teach identification of problem situations through recognition of “upset” feelings.

Attributional processes that lead to an appropriate sense of self-responsibility.

Increased understanding and use of the vocabulary of logical reasoning and problem-solving, e.g., “if…then” and “why…because.”

Increased understanding and use of the vocabulary of emotions and emotional states; e.g., excited, disappointed, confused, guilty, etc. Increased use of verbal mediation.

Increased ability to recognise and interpret similarities and differences in the feelings, reactions and points of view of self and others.

Increased understanding of how one’s behaviour affects others.

Increased knowledge of, and skill in, the steps of social problem-solving: stopping and thinking; identifying problems and feelings; setting goals; generating alternative solutions; anticipating and evaluating consequences; planning, executing and evaluating a course of action; trying again if the first solution fails.

Increased ability to apply social problem-solving skills to prevent and/or resolve problems and conflicts in social interactions.


PATHS lessons are followed twice each week for every class. A member of Barnardos is assigned to the school and will ‘team teach’ with staff and run professional development and parent workshops to further enhance the impact of the program.