Zones of RegulationIn this section...
At Barrow Hedges we use the ‘Zones of Regulation’ to help support our children in understanding their emotions and regulating themselves when required. Regulation is something everyone (adults and children) need to continually work on - everybody faces circumstances that can test their limits from time to time. We aim to teach our children some of the tools they can use to support them when they enter a heightened state of alertness, because if we can help children to recognise when they are becoming less regulated, they will become more confident and capable when managing their feelings. This comes more naturally for some, but for others it is a skill that needs more attention and practice.
An explanation of the Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation is a framework that teaches children skills and strategies toward developing and building an awareness of their feelings and/or internal state. Additionally, it allows children to learn and use a variety of tools for their own self-regulation. This can include exploring different methods for mindfulness, sensory integration, movement, thinking strategies, and having a healthy connection with others. The Zones provide a common language and compassionate framework to support positive mental health and skill development for all. In addition, it serves as an inclusion strategy for neurodiverse learners, children with specific learning needs, children with social, emotional, and behavioural needs and those who have experienced trauma.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness, when you are at your best and ready to learn. This zone could be described as you are feeling happy, focused, content, ready to learn. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs. A green zone means you are in a good place, a good zone and you are ready to learn.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness, you may be feeling sad, tired, hungry, or bored. This zone may mean you need a rest or something to eat.
The Yellow Zone is used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions, however when in the yellow zone you have slightly more control than when you are in the red zone. A person in the yellow zone may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, nervousness.
The Red Zone is also used to describe an extremely heightened state of alertness and usually intense emotions. In the red zone a person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, devastation, or terror.
We aim for children at Barrow Hedges to understand that all the zones are natural to experience, while giving them the confidence and skills to understand, manage and recognise the “zone they are in”. All class teachers, support staff and senior leaders have been trained in ‘Zones of Regulation’ and this is used in all classes, and when children are supported by our ELSA and Family Support Worker.