Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation: Overview
The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control. The program was introduced at Wynndale as a whole school initiative in the Summer Term of 2020. It was part of our whole school response to the Pandemic, and the impact Covid has had on our children’s mental health and emotional well-being. Our Pastoral Support Worker has led the initiative and the language and concepts are being taught throughout school, from EYFS through to Year 6.
The Zones teach children how to name and recognise different emotions, and levels of emotions, in themselves and other people. The Blue Zone is when we (children and adults) are sad, sick, tired, bored. The Green Zone is when we are OK, calm, happy, focused, ready to learn. The Yellow Zone is when we are feeling excited, silly/wiggly, scared, embarrassed and experience a loss of some control. The Red Zone is when we are angry, elated, yelling, terrified, loss of all control.
The Program teaches children how their behavior affects the way other people think and act around them. We use the terms ‘expected’ and ‘unexpected’ behavior. Children learn that expected behaviour enables people to have comfortable thoughts about them, and unexpected behaviour causes other people to have uncomfortable thoughts about them.
The aim has been to embed the language of the Zones of Regulation across all parts of school life. Our school environment reflects this. In our Pastoral base, The Rainbow Room, there is an interactive Zones of Regulation display that is used on a daily basis. As well as this, each classroom has the Wynndale Zones of Regulation Poster on display. We also have the poster up in key places around school, such as the school office, as all our staff have been trained to use the language consistently.
Small intervention groups run on a weekly basis in each class. The pastoral support worker and the SENCO work with teaching teams to identify 4 children in each class who would benefit from this additional provision. They then attend 18 sessions designed to equip the children with the knowledge and skills necessary to explore and discuss their own emotions and behaviours. These sessions also seek to help the children recognise individual tools and strategies that work for them when they find themselves in different Zones.
Because we have the capacity to run the sessions in all year groups except FS and Year 1, we hope that over time as many children as possible will have accessed the Zones of Regulation intervention.
To help ensure the skills and knowledge gained are transferred back into the classroom, once children have completed the 18 sessions, they then have the opportunity to earn a ‘Zones License’. This is awarded to children who continue to use their tools to regulate their emotions and behaviours when experiencing different Zones.
The Zones of Regulation is also delivered on a 1:1 basis with individuals to support their needs. This can be adapted to suit the needs of younger learners as well as learners with Special Educational Needs.
We have tried to embed the use of Zones of Regulation across all areas of school life. We refer to it when writing risk assessments and/or handling plans for named individuals and have linked out behaviour policy to the Zones too. We also try and share the principles with our wider community via our termly Whole School newsletters and our Wynndale Well-being newsletters. By communicating with our parents in this way, and also by contacting them when their children are involved in zones interventions, we now have a number of parents who use the same language at home with their children. Another way of embedding the Zones in school had been through our weekly Class Briefings where each week, children discuss their emotions and the Zones of Regulation with their class and teacher. We also make sure we reinforce the language, concepts and messages through whole school and Key Stage assemblies.
Should behavior incidents occur which require the support from our Senior Leadership Team, the Zones of Regulation language is used to support students to regulate their emotions and understand their behaviours, and to show children how their behaviours can affect other people.
All teaching staff, including our office team have accessed CPD on the program and have a good understanding of the Zones of Regulation language and concepts. Our Midday team have also accessed Zones of Regulation training. This was delivered by our pastoral and SEN team in October 2021 with the support of SAP.
How Can the Zones of Regulation Help You?
Zones Of Regulation: Intent and Implementation
Intent: To help children gain skills in the area of self-regulation. Through the Zones of Regulation program, we aim to help children to learn to self-regulate, and understand their emotions and behaviours - and to understand the emotions and behaviours of other people.
Implementation: The zones intervention runs once per week, 45 minutes per session. The sessions run in the afternoons, and Mrs Taylor has a different group each day. There are 18 sessions in the program. Carly liaises with class teaching teams and the SENCO to identify children to be targeted. Parents are asked to give written consent for their child’s attendance.
Impact: Children will understand their emotions and learn how to regulate themselves in different zones. They will have chance to earn their zones license by using their chosen coping skills when feeling dysregulated.
Lead by: Carly Taylor