Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School

Live, Love, Learn. Together we will soar to new heights

Brunswick Street, St. Helens, Merseyside WA9 2JE

01744 678670



We are a PATHS school



Last year, we were excitedly awarded the prestigious SEL Worldwide Model School Award - the first one in St Helens!

We're proud to share with you this video giving a brief insight into the PATHS curriculum in action throughout our school. We are so proud of how successful PATHS has been in Holy spirit and how wonderfully adaptable the children have been. They are now much more confident in talking about their feelings and emotions rather than demonstrating them through behaviour. EYFS and Year 1 can tell you all about 'doing the turtle' and Y2 upwards can use the three steps for calming down/control signals to help us when we feel uncomfortable. 


We celebrated receiving our PATHS Model School Award on 28th January 2022. We were honoured to be presented with the award by Lisa Best (Our PATHS Coach) and The Worshipful, The Mayor, Councillor Sue Murphy. SEL permeates through our school and we are so very proud to be the first PATHS Model School in St Helens. Here are a few photos from our celebration... enjoy!


PATHS is a key part or our school curriculum and it stands for

 Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies 

At Holy Spirit, we actively promote the positive well-being and emotional well-being of our children by incorporating PATHS into our daily life. The programme, which has been developed by Barnardo's, empowers all our children to develop the fundamental social and emotional learning skills, which will enable them to make positive choice throughout life.

PATHS is designed to be taught two or more times per week for a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day. Systematic, developmentally-based lessons, materials, and instructions are provided to facilitate emotional literacy, self-control, social competence, positive peer relations, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. Key objectives in promoting these developmental skills are to prevent and to reduce behavioral and emotional problems.

At the start of every month, your child will bring home some PATHS homework. We post on our Twitter page about our PATHS/SEL learning in school and we will also post things that you can do with your child too.


The main aims of PATHS


PATHS Improves


Classroom Behaviour



Emotional Intelligence

Academic Engagement

Conflict Resolution


PATHS Reduces

Emotional Distress

Aggressive Behaviour

Conduct Problems


Parental Session

We were recently fortunate enough to welcome back some parents for our PATHS Parental Information Session. Thank you to all the parents / carers who came – it was lovely to see so many smiley faces!  Lisa (Our PATHS Coach) and Miss Green were able to share the PATHS programme that we use at Holy Spirit. We explored what PATHS is and why we use it, how we use it, the benefits of it, plus how you can help at home too.

Top Tips for using PATHS at home:

  • Take an interest in your child being Pupil of the Day – give them a compliment too.
  • Model complimenting at home.
  • Encourage you child to share their feelings – remember all feelings are okay.
  • Differentiate between feelings and behaviour.
  • Encourage the use of Turtle or the 3 steps for calming down.
  • Compliment your child for self-regulating their feelings.
  • Model problem solving so they can see the process for themselves.
  • Play games which encourage teamwork and cooperation
  • Remember the Golden Rule – Treat others how you want to be treated.

It also gave us chance to share with you the celebration we had, in which The Worshipful, Mayor, Cllr Sue Murphy and Lisa awarded us with the PATHS SEL Model School Award – we are so proud of this achievement as we are the first (and only, as of yet) school in St Helens to achieve this status. It was wonderful to receive such positive feedback from you all and to hear that you will make use of PATHS too. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries.


PATHS and SEL After-school Club

Check out Year 1 and our PATHS/SEL after-school club showing us how to 'do the turtle'...

We really enjoy our after-school club. We explore PATHS through discussions, art, role play, puppets and programme resources..


How can you help your child?

It would be great if you could use the same techniques with your children, at home. This would further help them to regulate their feelings and be hugely beneficial to them. Consistency is key...

See below for information about how you child is encouraged to deal with their uncomfortable feelings.



BBuddies are an amazing bunch of children who encourage everyone to follow the fair play rules, have fun and include everyone at play times! They go out of their way to be kind to others and to help others feel more comfortable.  

Our coach met with the children, in Year 4 who wanted to be a BBuddy, and delivered training to them. They were trained to help teach children new games and to problem solve using the PATHS strategies. They learnt:

  • what characteristics they need to be a PATHS Pal
  • games to play on the playground and during wet play
  • how to look out for children who are lonely or hurt, and
  • what to do to help.

If your child is a BBuddy, be sure to ask them how they help other children to feel happier and more included on our playground (Proud parent moment!).


Rainforest Camp Award

As a school, we innately promote social and emotional learning as we know that we can face some tricky times in our lives. During lockdown, alongside the school as a whole, the Rainforest Camp (our nurture room) posted daily SEL activities for all our children to access to help them recognise and manage their emotions and to be thankful of others. PATHS and Barnardo's recognised our school's work and gave us a Superstar Award for truly making a difference. 

International SEL Day

As a proud PATHS SEL Model School, we celebrated International SEL Day in March. The children were fantastic at complimenting themselves and others, showing kindness, treating people with respect, showing great sportsmanship plus much more! We are in awe of how our children respond to Social and Emotional Learning at Holy Spirit.

Be Kind - Treat others how you want to be treated



Our Mid-day supervisors have taken part in some socially distanced, AST Training with our PATHS coach. This will further support our children with teamwork and co-operative play on the playground. It also ensures that all our staff are using the same strategies and language, consistent to our children, when helping them with their emotions



You may have noticed that your child is now bringing home PATHS homework once a month. It's really important that you know what we're learning about and how we deal with our emotions inside school too. The children's effort with their homework has been outstanding and I am so proud of them; it's not always easy to label or talk about our feelings and emotions, but together we can do it! It's been great to see you engaging on Twitter with us and wonderful to know that you too see the importance of our PATHS learning. Ask your child what they've learnt in PATHS this week...


Don't forget to check out our Twitter page, every day, to see our PATHS learning.




Occasionally, data is collected from a sample of children to analyse the impact of PATHS across our school. Please see below the PATHS Privacy Statement and our impact report 2021 / 22.


PATHS Privacy Statement

One-Page Impact Report Holy Spirit 202122.pdf