What is it?

At St Cuthbert’s RC Primary school, we recognise the importance of promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to our pupils and their families. We aim to create an open culture around the discussion of mental health and wellbeing and to empower our children to be able to regulate their emotions.


By implementing the Zones of Regulation into our daily teaching and curriculum, we aim to teach our pupils to identify emotions in themselves and others and provide them with a bank of strategies to help regulate their emotions and improve their wellbeing.


The Zones of Regulation is a range of strategies and activities to help your child develop skills in the area of self-regulation. Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self-management and impulsive control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, if your child is playing in a sporting competition, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library.


The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum based around the use of four colours to help children self-identify how they’re feeling and categorise it based on colour. This method helps the children understand their emotions, sensory needs and thinking patterns. They will learn different strategies to cope and manage their emotions based on which colour zone they are in. Additionally, this will help the children to recognise their own triggers, learn to read facial expressions, develop problem solving skills and become more attuned to how their actions affect other people.



There is progression across the curriculum with children in Early Years learning to identify different emotions to children in Upper Key Stage Two discussing how our behaviour can impact upon the feelings of those around us.



Our future plan

Although we are initially trialling the Zones of Regulation in EYFS and Key Stage One, our future plan is to successfully roll this system out across our whole school in September 2023 from Nursery to Year 6. Before we do this, we will gather staff, pupil and parent voice to measure the impact it has had this term.



How you can use the Zones of Regulation at home?

At home, it would be very beneficial if you talk through the four different zones with your child. Ask them how they would feel in each zone?


  • Discuss what emotion they feel in each zone e.g. in the yellow zone I may feel worried.
  • How they physically feel e.g. in the yellow zone I may have butterflies in my stomach or have sweaty palms (if feeling anxious).
  • Then discuss what they might be doing – what might their actions be e.g. in the yellow zone I may be pacing the room, fidgeting or snapping at others.
  • Then discuss how to help them move into the green zone e.g. if I was in the yellow zone and feeling anxious I might find completing some yoga stretches and breathing techniques help me get back too green.
  • Create a list of strategies that work for your child – Remind your child that we are all unique and strategies that work for one person might not help them so they need to look at what strategies are best for them personally.


Remind your child that we all experience all four zones and there are no good or bad zones. However, our success in regulating our emotions depends on us recognising how we feel, understanding that feeling and putting a support strategy in place.



Please see below for a breakdown of the four different colours, what emotion each zone represents and strategies for both home and school to use. There is an adult version and a child friendly one underneath.


If you would like paper copies of these, please ask the school office and we will put a copy in your child’s bag.



We would very much like to hear your thoughts or any feedback on the implementation of the Zones of Regulation and how you get on at home using this model.


Thank you for your continued support




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