Church of England VA Primary School

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 weekly and develops year on year with special features for infant school children. The programme is intended to be supported at home.  PATHS forms part of the PSHE curriculum as well as covering some British Values. 

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. 

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 a PATHS lesson 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.

The PATHS strategies work alongside our PIVOTAL approach to behaviour in school. 

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.