Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation programme helps the children to learn about a variety of social and emotional skills which support them to self-regulate and become adept at navigating successfully through a range of social situations. The Zones categorise all the different ways in which we feel and the states of alertness we experience, into four different colours:
The Green Zone
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. The children may feel happy, focused, content or ready when they identify with the Green Zone. This is the zone that we aim for the children to be in and remain in throughout our school day. It is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Yellow Zone
The Yellow Zone is used to describe elevated emotions. The children may feel excited, silly, anxious or stressed when they identify with the Yellow Zone. This is the zone in which the children are beginning to steer away from the Green Zone. However, they still have control over their state of alertness.
The Blue Zone
The Blue Zone is used to describe down feelings. The children may feel sad, tired, sick or bored when they identify with the Blue Zone. This is the zone where the children's state of alertness will be low and they need to begin to think of which strategy is going to get them back to the Green Zone.
The Red Zone
The Red Zone is used to describe intense emotions. The children may feel frustration, anger, rage, devastation or terror when they identify with the Red Zone. This is the zone where the children's states of alertness are heightened, and it is important to find a strategy to steer them back to the Green Zone.
Using the Zones in School
We encourage the children to use their Zones both inside and outside of school, to identify their feelings and emotions and the best way to deal with them. It is completely normal to feel all four of the different zones from time to time. In school, with guidance, the children learn to think about how they feel during different parts of the day and, therefore, identify the zone that they might be in.
They also learn about different behaviours and how their own behaviour may affect others. Children then go on to learning about strategies that they can use to keep their behaviours in check so that they stay in the Green Zone, thus enabling them to be the best that they can be.
Talk with your child about the Zones. Ask them to tell you about the different colours. Use this picture below to start a conversation. Encourage your child to tell you what zones they are in at home.
Expected and Unexpected Behaviours
Expected behaviours are considered to be acceptable in social terms. With these behaviours people feel comfortable and safe around us.
Unexpected behaviours are considered to be unacceptable in social terms. With these behaviours people feel uncomfortable or unsafe around us.
By learning about expected and unexpected behaviours, we learn to observe social situations more carefully and understand that behaviours are linked to emotions. We also begin to appreciate that how each of us feels about another person’s behaviour affects how we treat each other.
When we present expected behaviours, it makes us feel better about ourselves and helps our self-esteem to grow. The children have been talking about how all behaviours have a consequence – expected behaviours can lead to positive consequences like praise and rewards while unexpected behaviours can lead to negative consequences like loss of play or friends feeling unhappy and unsafe around us.