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Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is an approach used to support children in identifying and managing emotions.  It organises feelings, states of alertness and energy levels into four coloured zones- blue, green, yellow and red.  The simple, common language and visual structure of The Zones of Regulation helps make them easier to talk about, think about and regulate.  Children learn to regulate their Zones to meet their goals and task demands, as well as support their overall wellbeing.


Blue Zone: The Blue Zone portrays down feelings and low energy levels such as when someone feels bored, sad, tired, or unwell.

Green Zone: The Green Zone depicts calmness and the feeling of being in control. A person in the green zone may be described as content, focused or happy.

Yellow ZoneThe Yellow Zone describes a person with additional levels of energy and elevated emotions, but remains in control. An individual may be facing nervousness, wiggles, silliness, excitement, anxiety, frustration or stress.

Red Zone: The Red Zone demonstrates strong emotions and extraordinarily high energy. A person is said to be in the red zone when they are feeling angry, elated, terrified, out of control, devastated or enraged.

Using the Zones of Regulation

As part of our launch weeks in September 2023, we rolled out our use of The Zones of Regulation as a whole school approach. This is to help us develop a common language across the school through which to discuss emotions and behaviours.

Teachers share the content of the curriculum flexibly with their classes in line with their age and stage of development and in response to the needs of the children. Some individuals and small groups may work more intensively with the materials to support their particular needs. All classrooms have The Zones on display and have a ‘Regulation Zone’ (a designated cosy area within the classroom) for children to use as and when necessary, along with access to a range of tools (eg. sensory equipment, calming activities etc) to allow children to take care of The Zones that they are in.

Aims of using the Zones of Regulation

  • To help children identify which Zone they are in and how to best look after themselves in that Zone.
  • To gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms so pupils can explain how they are feeling.
  • To develop problem-solving skills.
  • To identify a range of different calming and alerting strategies/tools that support them, allowing them to self-regulate.

Key points about using The Zones of Regulation

  • It is important to know that it's fine for children to experience all of these Zones.
  • Children may be in more than one Zone at a time.
  • There is no bad Zone, but it is important to learn and use strategies that help children take care of the Zones that they are in.
  • Some emotions may fall into more than one Zone

The future of The Zones of Regulation at MAHPS

As the children become more familiar and confident using The Zones of Regulation, we will start exploring the following:

  • triggers (something that causes someone to become less regulated)
  • expected and unexpected behaviours
  • thinking strategies
  • how emotions, sensory experiences, physiological needs (e.g. hunger/lack of sleep) and environments can influence which Zone we are in.