Zones of Regulation
At KPS we aim to support the increasing needs around Mental Health and wellbeing.
The Zones of Regulation is a fundamental part of achieving this and is taught from Reception to Year 6.
The zones curriculum was created by Leah Kuypers to provide teachers and parents with a set of clear instructions to guide students through a set of sequenced lessons, encouraging the students to learn about their own regulation system and how to adjust to it.
It is a programme that aims to help children notice the emotion they are feeling and then regulate themselves if they are feeling uncomfortable.
The programme starts by helping children to identify which zone an emotion or feeling is in.
The children explore these zones and learn to be able to identify which zone they are in. This is supported by staff who use the language of the zones when appropriate. There are posters in every classroom and around the school. Sometimes children can’t or don’t want to name the emotion but they can identify which zone they are in.
Children also learn that their feelings and emotions can lead to expected and unexpected behaviours and that those behaviours can have an impact on the children and adults around them e.g., if you are in the red zone and shouting very loudly at your friend it is unlikely that your friend will be in the green zone.
Once children understand the concept of the zones they will they explore ways to help regulate themselves with the support of sensory devices and calming techniques. We want to help all children recognise when they are beginning to feel uncomfortable in the yellow zone and have a toolbox of ideas to help them regulate themselves.
In addition to addressing self-regulation, children will gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading other people’s facial expressions, perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour, insight into events that trigger their behaviour, calming and alerting strategies, and problem-solving skills.
You can support your child/children by asking them which zone they are in or identifying which zone they are in, e.g. “I wonder if you are in the yellow zone at the moment, you seem a bit worried.” Naming the emotion can help them with their emotional literacy and show them that you can see they are feeling uncomfortable.
The key message is to help your child understand that it is ok to feel angry, be worried or scared whilst supporting them to find ways to help themselves manage those uncomfortable feelings and self-sooth. This may also help them with their self-esteem and resilience.
One idea is to use Lego to enable the whole family to check in with their feelings.
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