Applying Zones of Regulation (Ridgeway Primary School )

*This Cognitive Behavioural Approach can help young people regulate and understand their emotions on their own.

Ridgeway Primary School puts the theory to the test:  

Welcome to The Zones of Regulation!  At Ridgeway Primary School we have incorporated the Zones of Regulation across the whole school to support children to manage their own changing and challenging emotions.  There are four Zones, ranging from happy and proud, ready to learn, to angry, aggressive and sad.  Each Zone has a different colour to make a clear difference between them.  A ‘Tool Box’ offers solutions to help us regulate our responses, so that we can get back to Green Zone and be ready to learn.

A group of Year 5 Ambassadors created an Interactive Assembly to help the children in school get involved and excited about this new idea.  Our Assembly included dramatic scenes demonstrating a few challenging situations and finding conclusions to solve them.  Green Zone is where we would like all children and adults to be!  In Green Zone you will be feeling calm, attentive, relaxed, ready to learn and happy.  For our Assembly in Blue Zone, one child was sad and lonely.  She chose to ask a friend for help and tried a new game. She then felt happier.  In Red Zone, one child teased another about his learning.  The learner became angry and aggressive.  Instead of lashing out he chose a movement break from the ‘Tool Box’. They both calmed down. In Yellow Zone, two children were off task with their learning: giggling and laughing.  They each used a squishy toy for 30 seconds to calm down and get back to learning.  To create the ‘Tool Box’ two Year 5 Ambassadors dressed up in boiler suits and pushed around a big, dramatic, interactive box, with giant versions of the Tools available for extra impact, including huge thought bubbles with top tips in them.

The Zones of Regulation is a well-researched and established self-regulation technique, and there are lots of online resources available to help introduce and create useable and suitable ‘Tools’ for your classroom.  We have used a self-assessment form so that children can identify their own triggers.  Each classroom has a colourful, interactive poster showing the four Zones, a range of emotions and lots of ‘Tools’ to choose from to get back in to Green Zone.  Children can also complete a personalised ‘Tool Box’ to keep in their tray/locker/bag with just three key strategies they would use to return to Green Zone independently.

We recommend the Zones of Regulation as a great way for children/adults to regulate and understand their emotions on their own.  Good luck creating your happy, independent, on task classroom of learners.

5K at Ridgeway Primary School

To find out more about Zones of Regulation:

For emotional literacy training and support with cognitive behavioural approaches in your school contact: Dr Katie Ellis, Educational Psychologist at