The ZONES of Regulation
At Great Kimble C of E School, we use The Zones of Regulation across the school to support our pupils emotional wellbeing. The Zones of Regulation framework teaches children scaffolded skills towards developing a metacognitive pathway to build awareness of their feelings/internal state and utilise a variety of tools and strategies for regulation, prosocial skills, self-care, and overall wellness. This includes exploring tools and strategies for mindfulness, sensory integration, movement, thinking strategies, wellness, and healthy connection with others. The Zones of Regulation provide a common language and compassionate framework to support positive mental health and skill development for all, while serving as an inclusion strategy for neurodiverse learners, those who have experienced trauma, and/or have specific needs in terms of social, emotional, and behavioural development.
The Zones of Regulation create a systematic approach to teach regulation by categorising all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete coloured zones. Integrating in cognitive behaviour therapy, students build skills in emotional and sensory regulation, executive functioning, and social cognition. The framework is designed to help move students towards more independent regulation while also honouring and respecting each student and their unique self.
THE FOUR ZONES: OUR FEELINGS & STATES DETERMINE OUR ZONE
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions, however one has more control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
The Zones can be compared to traffic signs. When given a green light or in the Green Zone, one is “good to go”. A yellow sign means be aware or take caution, which applies to the Yellow Zone. A red light or stop sign means stop, and when one is the Red Zone this often is the case. The Blue Zone can be compared to the rest area signs where one goes to rest or re-energize. All of the zones are natural to experience, but the framework focuses on teaching students how to recognise and manage their Zone based on the environment and its demands and the people around them.