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 Social and emotional learning  | Social and emotional aspects of learning   | Foundation Stage | Key Stage 1 | Key Stage 2


PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) is a social and emotional learning programme aimed at primary-age children. Originally developed in the US, the programme has been adapted for use in UK schools and is currently disseminated by Barnardoís. The programme focuses on five key aspects of social and emotional learning: self-control, emotional understanding, positive self-esteem, relationships and interpersonal problem-solving skills. The programme is delivered on a whole-class basis, and schools signing up to it receive a folder of fully-scripted lesson plans for each year group, plus supporting resources such as DVDs. It is designed to be used in each year of primary school, as the skills taught build on those introduced in previous years. PATHS lessons last around 20-30 minutes, and should be scheduled to take place two to three times per week. Any evidence in support of the programme is based on a trained version.

Evidence Summary   |

The Best Evidence Encyclopaedia (2009) rated PATHS as having limited evidence of effectiveness for early childhood. The Blueprints For Healthy Youth Development review rates PATHS as a model programme (the highest rating) for impact on a range of outcomes including anti-social or aggressive behaviour, conduct problems and emotional regulation. The Education Endowment Foundation recently ran a project investigating the effectiveness of PATHS, which indicated that PATHS did not have a positive impact on academic outcomes.
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