The Zones of Regulation

This term we have introduced the Zones of Regulation to Stage 1. If you hear your child talk about what zone they are in, or “being in the blue/green/yellow/red zone” they are talking about how they are learning to self-regulate their emotions. Below is a brief explanation of what the Zones of Regulation are about. If you find your child taking deep breaths, getting a drink of water or counting to 10, they might be using one of the tools to help regulate their brain and body.

We all encounter trying circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we are able to recognise when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to feel better and get ourselves to a better place. This is the goal of The Zones of Regulation (or Zones for short).

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. – Charles Swindoll

What are The Zones of Regulation?

The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, explosive behaviour or fear when in the Red Zone. Our students are learning that it is really hard to self-regulate when in this state. They may need someone else to tell them what to do when in the Red Zone.

The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions. However, we have more control when we are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.

The Green Zone​ is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.

The Blue Zone​ is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings, like feeling sad, tired, sick or bored.

The Zones can be compared to traffic signs. When given a green light (or in the Green Zone), we are “good to go”. A yellow sign (the Yellow Zone) means be aware or take caution. A red light or stop sign means stop, and when we are in the Red Zone this is often the case. The Blue Zone can be compared to the rest area signs where we go to rest or re-energise.

All of the Zones are expected at one time or another and we teach students that this is okay. The curriculum focuses on teaching students how to manage their Zone based on the environment and people around them, with the long term aim to have students feeling strong, happy and in control more often.

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