The Zones of Regulation is a conceptual framework used to teach children self-regulation and self-control. The Zones of Regulation categorises states of alertness and emotions into four coloured zones. It is important to know that it is fine for children to experience all of these emotions while they are at school. There is no bad zone, but it is important to learn and use strategies that would help children get to their Clifton Green Zone.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored. This is when one's body and/or brain is moving slowly or sluggishly.
Clifton Green Zone
The Green Zone is used to describe a regulated state of alertness. A person may be described as calm, happy, focused, or content when in the Green Zone. This is the zone children generally need to be in for schoolwork and for being social. Being in the Green Zone shows control.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness; however, a person has some control when in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, nervousness, confusion, and many more slightly elevated emotions and states when in the Yellow Zone (such as wiggly, squirmy, or sensory seeking). The Yellow Zone is starting to lose some control.
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness or very intense feelings. A person may be experiencing anger, rage, explosive behaviour, panic, terror, or elation when in the Red Zone. Being in the Red Zone can best be explained by not being in control of one's body.
At points of the day, when children regularly may be feeling unregulated (entering school, after break and after lunch) we do a Zones register where children share the zone they are in. It is at this point that the role of the teacher is vital to support children in moving back to the Clifton Green Zone.
At other points throughout the day, when a child is displaying unexpected behaviour, the adult with them will discuss the Zones of Regulation to support them in managing their own feelings and thus their behaviour.
Step 1 - Recognising the Zone you are in (Not always easy, even for adults!)
Step 2 - Choosing a strategy to move you back to Green Zone
Step 3 - Reflect and see how the Zone you were in linked to the parts of the brain and our Mind Up lessons
Step 4 - Create a plan for when we next need to move through Zones