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The Zones of Regulation

We began using Zones of Regulation at Greet in September 2022. We hope that this will help our children to learn how to manage their difficult emotions.


What is the Zones of Regulation intervention?

The Zones of Regulation is an internationally renowned intervention which helps children to managed difficult emotions. This is known as 'self-regulation' 


Self-regulation can go by many names such as 'self-control', 'impulse management' and 'self management'. Self- regulation is best described as the best state of alertness for a situation. For example, when your child takes part in a sports match, they would need to have a higher state of alertness than when, for example, in the library.


From time to time, all of us (including adults) find it hard to manage strong feelings such as worry, anger, fear or tiredness, and this stops us from getting on with our day effectively. Children who feel these emotions often find it hard to learn and concentrate in school. The Zones of Regulation aim to teach children strategies to help them cope with these feelings so they can get back to feeling calm and ready to learn. These coping strategies are called 'self-regulation'.


At Greet Primary we use the Zones of Regulation across the whole school. We want to teach all of our children good coping strategies so they can help themselves when they experience anxiety, stress or anger. In the classroom children sometimes panic when they face a tricky learning problem or challenge. By teaching them how to cope with these feelings we hope to make them better at tackling learning challenges. This builds resilience so they don't give up easily when faced with difficulty.


We want every child at Greet to grow into successful teenagers and adults. Teaching children at a young age about managing their feelings will support them later in life so that they don't turn to negative coping strategies which could impact their mental and physical wellbeing.


We aim to help children to:

  • Recognise when they are in the different Zones and learn how to change or stay in the Zone they are in.
  • Increase their emotional vocabulary so they can explain how they are feeling.
  • Recognise when other people are in different Zones, thus developing their empathy.
  • Develop an insights into what might make them move into the different Zones.
  • Understand that emotions and sensory experiences, such as lack of sleep or hunger, might influence the Zone they are in.
  • Develop problem solving skills and resilience.
  • Identify a range of strategies to support them, known as their 'toolkit'.

What are the different Zones?

Blue Zone: low level of arousal; not ready to learn; feels sad, sick, tired, bored, moving slowly.


Green Zone: calm state of alertness; optimal level to learn; feels happy, calm, feeling okay, focused.


Yellow Zone: hightened state of alertness; elevated emotions; has some control; feels frustrated, worried, silly/wiggly, excited, loss of some control.


Red Zone: heightened state of alertness and intense emotions; not at an optimal level for learning; out of control; feels mad/angry, yelling/hitting, elated, out of control.

We teach children that everyone experiences all of the zones. The Red and Yellow Zones are not 'bad' or 'naughty' Zones. All of the Zones are expected at one time or another. We will show them that the Blue Zone, for example, is helpful when you are trying to fall asleep.


We explain to the children that all feelings are ok, it is how we manage and respond to them that is important. 

How do we teach the children about the Zones of Regulation?

We teach the Zones of Regulation through our PSHE lessons as well as discrete lessons at the start of each academic year. We also use the Zones of Regulation language as part of daily school life. All staff refer to them, not just class teachers.


Children who work with our learning mentor team use the Zones of Regulation in their mentoring sessions.


Some children might prefer not to use the Zones language but label the emotions directly - this is fine and encouraged.

I want to know more about the Zones of Regulation

Please have a look at the pages below if you want to find out more information about the Zones of Regulation, including how to use them at home with your child.

Where can I get more information about the Zones of Regulation?


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At Greet safeguarding of pupils is at the forefront of everything we do. Check out our safeguarding page for the latest information and advice.

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