At Oxhey Wood School, we pride ourselves for being an inclusive school. For example, we support children who are new to English, who have physical disabilities and those who experience challenges in their learning and behaviours. In every class there are children with a range of needs, differences and special talents; and we teach the children that this is part of what makes us unique and special.
In Years 1 to 6, we use the Zones of Regulation to help children identify their emotions and support them in recognising strategies that can help them in each zone. In Early Years children are introduced to the concept of colour coding their emotions through the use of ‘The Colour Monster’ book by Anna Llenas.
At Oxhey Wood School we teach the children that EVERY EMOTION YOU FEEL IS OK. It's what you do when you're in that zone that we must learn to manage. We believe that it is invaluable for the children to learn about their emotions and how to manage them effectively. Children at first find it difficult to identify what emotions they are feeling beyond happy and sad.
Through our curriculum children will be taught in a variety of ways what emotions are, how to identify an emotion, and what they can do to manage that emotion. Through the use of the Zones children have the opportunity to identify where they are within the zones at regular points through the day and have an understanding that no one emotion is better than another, the important part is how you deal with it.
The Zones of Regulation uses four colours to help children self-identify how they are feeling and categorise it based on a colour. They learn different strategies to help them cope and manage their emotions based on which colour zone they are in. Additionally, the Zones of Regulation helps children recognise their own triggers, learn to read facial expressions, develop problem solving skills and become more attuned to how their actions affect other people. For some children this will take longer and will require more support.
The Green Zone:
The green zone is used to describe when you are in a calm state of alertness. Being in the green zone means you are calm, focused, happy, or ready to learn. This is predominantly the state you want your child to be in. It’s also the state most needed in the classroom and at home in order to learn.
The Yellow Zone:
The yellow zone describes when you have a heightened sense of alertness. This isn’t always a bad thing, and you typically still have some control when you’re in the yellow zone. Being in the yellow zone means you may feel frustrated, anxious or nervous. But it could also mean you’re feeling excited, silly, or hyper – which is okay in the right situation.
The Red Zone:
The red zone describes an extremely heightened state of intense emotions. When a person reaches the red zone, they are no longer able to control their emotions or reactions. This is the zone children are in during meltdowns/crisis. Being in the red zone means you are feeling anger, rage, terror, or complete devastation and feel out of control.
The Blue Zone:
The blue zone is used when a person is feeling low states of alertness. When you are in the blue zone, you may be feeling down – sad, sick, tired, or bored. You are still in control, like you are when you are in the yellow zone, but with low energy emotions.
At school, each classroom has their own ‘Regulation Station’. If a child is feeling any other colour than green, we provide time in the Regulation Station where they can use the ‘Regulation Toolkit’ or complete an activity so that they can return to their learning by being in the Green Zone.
Here are some ideas of activities your children could do at home when they are feeling in a certain zone:
Read a book
Help with jobs at home
Go for a run
Play in the garden
Do a puzzle
Play a board game
Do some yoga
Have a drink
Go for a walk
Shout into a pillow
Squeeze a pillow or stress ball
Go in the garden – run / jump / stamp / shout
Do some yoga
Do some boxing
Take deep breaths
Listen to music
Go for a walk or a run
Do some exercise e.g. a Joe Wicks workout
Take some photographs
Have a rest
Talk to an adult or friend
Have a snack
Below is a copy of the Zones of Regulation display we use at school that you may want to use at home. Please print it off or if you would like one printed off for you please let Miss Douglas-Law.
If you have any further questions about the Zones of Regulation, then please contact your child’s class teacher or Miss Douglas-Law who will be happy to provide any further information.