Self-regulation is the ability to remain calm, cope with big emotions, adapt and respond appropriately to our environment. Self-regulation is important because it allows children to do well in school, with friends and at home. It helps them feel good about what they can handle and about themselves.
We need to teach ALL of our children good coping and regulation strategies so that they can help themselves when they experience emotions such as anxiety or stress. Teaching children these tools at a young age will support them in later life.
Zones of Regulation
As part of the school’s PSHE curriculum for Year 1, we have started to teach the 'Zones of Regulation'.
The Zones of Regulation curriculum is full of a range of activities to help your child develop skills in the area of self-regulation. Through a series of lessons we aim to:
- develop vocabulary related to emotions
- teach children how to recognise their own emotions
- teach children how to detect the emotions of others by reading their facial expressions
- develop an understanding of what may trigger certain emotions
- understand how others may interpret certain behaviours
- develop problem solving skills
The Four Zones
There are four main zones which relate to a set of feelings;
Blue Zone - sad, sick, tired, bored, moving slowly.
Green Zone - happy, calm, feeling okay, focused, ready to learn.
Yellow Zone - frustrated, worried, silly, wiggly, excited, loss of some control.
Red Zone - mad/angry, mean, terrified, yelling, hitting, out of control.
The children are developing an understanding that there are no 'bad' zones; we all experience each Zone at different times and in different circumstances. We can't change how we feel but we can change the way we manage how these feelings are represented.
The Classroom Environment
As part of the Zones of Regulation we have introduced a 'How Are You Feeling Today?' board. The four Zones are displayed (as pictured below) in an area of the classroom, along with a name label for each child. As the day progresses, the children are encouraged to place their name on the relevant Zone. If required, members of the Year 1 team respond to how the children are feeling through discussion and relevant strategies.
We have also introduced a 'Calming Corner', which has proved very effective already. The children understand that they can access the corner whenever they feel the need; this could be if they are in the Blue, Yellow or Red Zone and require '5 minutes' to help them move from their current Zone back to the Green Zone.
Within the Calming Corner, there is a 'toolbox' of equipment and strategies which can be used to help move from one Zone back to Green.