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Key overview details
- Conduct Problems
- Prosocial behaviour
- Emotion Regulation / Emotional literacy
- Self Esteem / Resilience
- Social Skills / Positive Peer Relationship
- Primary school: 6 to 12 years
- Show only programmes known to have been implemented in Scotland
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version)
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is a universal, preventive, school based curriculum used by teachers of children in primary schools. The programme is grounded in social and emotional learning; and equips teachers with a systematic developmental methodology to strengthen children’s social competence, social understanding, and promote educational processes in the classroom. Teachers delivering the programme receive a curriculum manual that contains fully scripted, easy to teach lessons, designed to be developmentally appropriate for the children. The curriculum is integrated into the academic curriculum, and is delivered twice weekly. It is recommended that the programme is delivered on a whole-school basis.
The development of the PATHS® Programme is centred on the affective-behavioural-cognitive-dynamic (ABCD) model of development. This is reflected in the programme curriculum which contains conceptual units that focus on emotional understanding, self-control, social problem solving skills, peer relations and self-esteem. Programme delivery is associated with significant improvements across several outcomes including reduced conduct problems and aggressive behaviours, as well as improved psychological well-being, academic attainment and motivation.
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) has been delivered in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is a universal, preventive, school based curriculum used by teachers of children in primary schools. The PATHS® Programme curriculum is designed to strengthen children’s social competence; social understanding; and promote educational processes in the classroom. The PATHS® Programme suits the developmental needs of the children, as each school year (P1/P2, P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7) has an age appropriate curriculum pack. The curriculum packs contain fully scripted lessons that are integrated into the academic curriculum. There are between 30-45 lessons in each year group (depending on school year), and these lessons teach topics which include feelings identification and labelling; impulse control; stress reduction; understanding others’ perspectives; conflict resolution and making good decisions. These lessons are delivered twice weekly, typically in 20-30 mins sessions. The curriculum also contains a number of interactive activities such as role plays, games and group discussions. Materials including posters, feelings materials, puppets, storybooks, and novels support the delivery of this programme. The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) has the specific goals of increasing children’s self-control, friendship skills, self-esteem and self-confidence, understanding and communicating emotions, understanding behaviours, logical reasoning and social problem solving.
Parental involvement in the PATHS® Programme is promoted by homework assignments, parent letters, informational packets and other parent support interactive materials. Parents/ caregivers use these materials to help children practice their learned skills at home.
The programme supports a whole school approach.
Organisations’ adherence (in the UK) to fidelity measures is supported by Barnardo’s, a UK charity. Programme fidelity is ensured by;
• Use of a Barnardo’s coaching model which enables Barnardo’s Coaches visit schools regularly; work closely with teachers; and complete fidelity checklists
• Completion of regular tracking spreadsheets that monitor frequency of programme delivery
• Practitioner trainings which promote understanding of the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) curriculum content, programme concept and underpinning logic
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is delivered through Barnardo’s and is available in the UK. Some supports from Barnardo's to schools and parents can now be delivered online, for example, parent sessions, one to one with teachers/school staff and school assemblies. More information about how parts of the PATHS® Programme can be delivered remotely can be accessed by contacting Barnardo's at firstname.lastname@example.org
The PATHS® programme delivered through SEL worldwide is available in several other countries including USA, Australia, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway and Ireland.
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is distributed by Barnardo’s, a UK charity that protects and provides support to vulnerable children.
Support for Organisation/Practice
Implementation is traditionally supported by a Barnardo’s coach. Accessing coaching support is not a requirement for implementation, but it is highly recommended to maximise the outcomes, and support sustainability of the programme. Barnardo’s offers a 3 or 4 year coaching model that enables Barnardo’s staff visit schools on a regular basis. In years 1, 2, 3 and 4, Barnardo’s coaches visit schools 12, 9, 6 and 3 times respectively. This is to support the set up and implementation of the programme, and support the school in developing their whole school approach to the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) delivery. Across the 3-4 years there will be a focus on quality in-class delivery. Barnardo’s coaches provide peer support and guidance on delivering PATHS® Programme lessons, and teach ways of generalising the programme strategies throughout the classroom.
Practitioners are equipped with the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) instructors’ manual to help them deliver this programme in their classrooms.
There is a licence requirement to deliver the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version). This licence cost is included in the programme cost.
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) pack costs £650 for P1/P2, £280 for P3-P7, and £2,300 for the complete package (contains 7 packs from P1 –P7). Ideally each class should have their own pack. Training prior to delivering the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is highly recommended. Training is delivered across the UK, and costs £3000 for up to 30 teachers. To make training more cost effective for organisations/ schools who have only a few teachers to train, two or more schools can come together to have training. This is on the condition that one of the schools hosts the training, and numbers of practitioners being train do not exceed 30. The cost does not include travel.
Building Staff Competency
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is delivered by teachers so relevant qualification is required.
Practitioner training is highly recommended and is delivered by Barnardo’s. Practitioners attend two days of training. The first training day (introductory day) is conducted prior to programme implementation. The focus of the full day training incudes; social and emotional learning (SEL), its importance, and underpinning logic; The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) curriculum; core programme concepts; modelling and practical training, etc. After the full day training, practitioners go on to deliver the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) within the school. The second training day takes place about one term after the first training day. Its focus includes celebrations and challenges associated with the PATHS® Programme delivery. Training can be delivered at the implementing site, at a central site if practitioners in more than one organisation are to be trained, or remotely through a platform such as Zoom or MS Teams. Training can be delivered to a maximum of 30 practitioners.
The training process to become a trainer in the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is an internal process. Therefore practitioners looking to become trainers should have been working within Barnardo’s as a Barnardo’s Coach for a minimum of two years. After two years, the practitioner may apply to become a trainer, and deliver trainings. As part of the training process, the practitioner must observe trainings and deliver trainings. These trainings delivered by the trainee practitioner are under the supervision of a Master trainer. Training also includes reflection meeting and target setting. The training process must be completed within 18 months of the first training delivered.
Barnardo’s coaches and master trainers provide training support and guidance to practitioners interested in delivering the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version).
Theory of Change
The development of the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) was centred on the affective-behavioural-cognitive-dynamic (ABCD) model of development. The underlying premise of this model is that children’s behaviour and internal regulation is based on their awareness, understanding and control of their emotions, social cognition and affect. This is reflected in the programme curriculum, which contains conceptual units focused on emotional understanding; self-control; social problem solving; peer relations and self-esteem.
Primary school: 6 to 12 years - Rating: 5
Research Design & Number of Studies
The best evidence in support of the PATHS® Programme in children aged 6-12 years, come from three externally conducted cluster RCTs in school children aged 7-9 years (Humphrey et al, 2018; Crean and Johnson, 2013/ Ruby and Dolittle, 2010; Malti et al, 2011), and one internally conducted randomized intervention trial in school aged children (mean age 8.66 years) with special needs (Kam, Greenberg and Kusché, 2004). Compared to the control group, the following outcomes were observed.
• Significantly improved psychological well-being (Humphrey et al, 2018)
• Significantly reduced teacher-rated conduct problems (Crean and Johnson, 2013)
• Significantly lower child-rated aggressive outcomes, i.e. lower aggressive social problem solving, hostile attribution bias, and aggressive interpersonal negotiation strategies (Crean and Johnson, 2013)
• Significantly reduced teacher-reported ADHD, and child-reported aggressive behaviour (Malti et al, 2011)
• Significantly increased academic competence and motivation (Ruby and Dolittle, 2010)
• Significantly reduced the rate of growth of teacher-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviours, and significantly greater rate of decrease in the depression scores (Kam, Greenberg and Kusché, 2004)
Humphrey N, Hennessey A, Lendrum A, Wigelsworth M, Turner A, Panayiotou M, et al. (2018). The PATHS curriculum for promoting social and emotional well-being among children aged 7–9 years: a cluster RCT. Public Health Res 6(10)
Crean, H.F. & Johnson, D.B. (2013). Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) and Elementary School Aged Children’s Aggression: Results from a Cluster Randomized Trial. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 56-72
Malti, T., Ribeaud, D., & Eisner, M.P. (2011). The effects of two universal preventive interventionsto reduce children’s externalizing behavior: A clusterrandomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40(5), 677-692
Ruby, A. & Doolittle. E. (2010), Efficacy of Schoolwide programs to promote Social and Character Development and reduce problem behaviour in Elementary school children. Social & Character Development Research Consortium and Institute of Education.
Kam, C., Greenberg, M. T., & Kusché, C. A. (2004). Sustained Effects of the PATHS Curriculum on the Social and Psychological Adjustment of Children in Special Education. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 12, 66-78
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is a universal prevention programme for children in primary schools. This manualised programme is designed to strengthen children’s emotional understanding, self-control, social problem solving skills, peer relations and self-esteem. The programme is delivered by teachers within the classroom.
- Is your organisation looking to implement a programme that is delivered by teachers?
- Would a universal prevention programme suit your organisation, or would a treatment programme targeted at specific children be a better fit for your organisation?
- Is your organisation looking to implement a school based intervention?
- Is working with teachers to strengthen young children’s emotional understanding, self-control, problem solving skills, and peer relations a priority for your organization?
- Are there existing initiatives that address the above priorities, and are they effective in addressing your organisations’ needs?
- Are the existing initiatives effective? Do the existing initiatives fit your current and anticipated future requirements?
- Are existing initiatives school based interventions? Are they delivered by teachers or by other professionals?
- Are the existing initiatives universally delivered or are they targeted at specific children?
- Do the existing initiatives address similar outcomes as the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version)?
- Are there components within the PATHS® Programme that are not met by existing programmes?
Teachers deliver this programme to children. Training prior to programme delivery is highly recommended. A whole school approach to programme delivery is also recommended.
- Do your teachers have the educational degree/certification and interest in learning and delivering this programme?
- Will your organisation apply a whole school approach to delivering this programme?
- Do your teachers have sufficient time to undertake the recommended training?
Practitioners have online access to printable parent support materials for children in P1/P2. Parents/ caregivers use these interactive support materials to help children practice their learned skills at home.
- Do you have the technology that will allow teachers access online parent support materials (e.g. computer / tablet, internet access, printer)?
This is a school based programme that is delivered by teachers (in classrooms) as part of the academic curriculum. It is recommended that all teachers take part in delivering the programme.
- Can your organisation support its’ teachers in obtaining the recommended training to deliver this programme?
- Can your organisation make available all the administrative materials required for a school based programme (e.g. photocopied materials, binders)
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) pack costs £650 for P1/P2, £280 for P3-P7, and £2,300 for the complete package (contains 7 packs from P1 –P7). Ideally each class should have their own pack. Training prior to delivering the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is highly recommended. Training is delivered across the UK, and costs £3000 for up to 30 teachers. To make training more cost effective for organisations/ schools who have only a few teachers to train, two or more schools can come together to have training. Cost does not include travel.
- How many teachers will receive the PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) training?
- If your organisation is training only a few practitioners, then will your organisation partner with another school to make the training more cost effective?
- In how many year groups will this programme be delivered? Will it be more cost effective to apply a whole school approach in delivering this programme?
- Can your organisation afford the required programme costs and recommended training costs?
The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version) is a universal, prevention programme delivered to children in primary schools. The programme is delivered by teachers.
- Is your organisation looking to implement a prevention programme delivered by school teachers to children in primary school?
- Have teachers expressed a need for this programme or a similar programme?
The PATHS® Programme (UK Version) delivery is associated with significant improvements across several outcomes including reduced conduct problems and aggressive behaviours, as well as improved psychological well-being, academic attainment and motivation.
- Are these priority outcomes for your organisation? Are there other outcomes that your organisation would like to achieve which are outside the premise the PATHS® Programme?
- Do you have systems in place that already address the above desired outcomes?
The PATHS® Programme has been implemented by Ferguslie Early Learning Childcare Centre & Bishopton Primary School, Renfrewshire. Click below to read about their experience implementing this intervention.