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Zones of Regulation

At St Matthias we teach our students the zones of regulation as a way of supporting their social and emotional development.

We all experience a variety of emotions. It can be helpful to categorise these into different ZONES so that our students have a clear way of understanding and expressing how they are feeling. The picture below shows the ZONES that they may experience at different times throughout the day.

Once students understand the different ZONES teachers will support them to select the right strategies to help them to manage their emotions in a suitable way and to self-regulate their behaviour. For example, if they find themselves in the red ZONE then a strategy could be to take a deep breath and count to 10 or maybe to take a 5 minute lesson timeout (if an agreed strategy by HOY).

It is important to understand that there is no one right or wrong ZONE to be in. Everyone will experience the different ZONES at different times. What is important is to support students in understanding what might be their personal trigger for each ZONE and, importantly, what strategies can help them when we are in each of the different ZONES. For example, worrying about tests and exams might cause one student to be in the blue zone HOWEVER it might cause a different student to be in the yellow ZONE. These students would need a different strategy to help them through this challenging time. That is the purpose of ZONES!

Here are some skills taught through The Zones of Regulation in PSHE:

· Identifying your emotions by categorising feelings into four zones

· Self-regulation: Achieving the best zone for a situation. This is all about regulating your body and emotions

· Identifying triggers: Learning what makes you “tick” and why

· Coping strategies: Various techniques and strategies that help achieve emotional regulation and manage strong emotions

· Size of the problem: the idea that the size of your reaction should match the size of your problem, how to identify the size of your problem, and strategies for problem-solving.

· Expected behaviour vs unexpected behaviour: This covers perspective taking and how your behaviour affects the thoughts and feelings of the people around you

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