This year we have talked to children a lot about regulating their behaviour and emotions through Zones of Regulation. Last week, Mrs Moon talked again to children during assembly about how it’s ok to be angry, upset or frustrated as these are feelings that we all experience throughout the day. However by using the Zones of Regulation we can try to get back to the ‘Green zone’. All classrooms have posters to remind children of the strategies that may help them.
Why are we introducing this in school?
Children are taught that emotions can be grouped into 4 simple colour categories:
They learn that we all experience feelings in each of the zones but that when in school we need to try and remain in the green zone as this will help us to learn. Once children are familiar with the concept of the zones, they are then taught to recognise how they personally feel when in each. For example, by identifying the feelings they experience when in the red zone, they then begin to develop greater self awareness of their personal emotional responses.
This then leads to children identifying the strategies that work best to help them to move to the green zone. This may be different for each child.
Children will learn that there will be times when they will be in the blue, yellow or red zones. They will be reassured that we all feel like this and it is ok to feel that way.
They will understand that our emotions are not ‘fixed’ and that we experience many different emotions throughout the day. They will also learn that these emotions can sometimes be helpful, for example feeling yellow ahead of a sports competition or music exam, as their body prepares them for a challenge. By becoming more self-aware they can then use this knowledge to recognise what strategies they can put in place to manage their emotions and therefore begin to self-regulate.
Why are we introducing this now?
Due to covid, children experienced disruption both socially and academically. We believe that it is more important than ever to equip children with the tools they need to be able to self-regulate. By using a recognised framework with a common language across our whole school, we hope to support the children and provide them with the skills to manage their emotions.
How can you help?
Try using this at home. Reports from other schools suggest that when parents also use this framework at home, their children enjoy the consistency of the shared approach and parents report success in helping their children.
By modelling this at home, using the colours to discuss how you are feeling and talking about how you will help yourself to move to the green zone, your child will be supported to follow your lead.