Cranbourne Primary School

Where Learning and Friendships Grow

Zones of Regulation

Cranbourne Goals

Our goal is to teach children about emotional self-regulation and how to strengthen their self-regulation skills. Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self-management, and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library. Self-regulation is an essential skill in life, and in all learning environments. Children who can regulate their own emotions and attention are better ready to learn and thrive. By teaching them how to cope with different feelings, it might make them better at tackling learning challenges and build better resilience so they don’t give up so easily when faced with difficulty.

We want children at Cranbourne to grow into successful teenagers then adults. Teaching the children at a young age about managing their feelings will support them in later life so that they don’t turn to negative coping strategies which affect their mental and physical wellbeing.


Our Aims

We aim to help our children to:

• Recognise when they are in the different Zones and learn how to change or stay in the Zone they are in

• Increase their emotional vocabulary so they can explain how they are feeling

• Identify a range of calming and alerting strategies that support them


What are the Zones?

Zones of Regulation group all the ways that children feel and act into four “Zones”.

Blue Zone — when your body is running slowly.

Green Zone — when you are ready “good to go.” 

Yellow Zone — when you feel your engine running high.

Red Zone — is when you may be feeling out of control or “flipped the lid.”

Zones of Regulation focuses on two areas. In the first, our students will learn about how their emotions and attention are connected, and then how to recognise emotions and attention in themselves and classmates. They learn that they move through their Zones throughout the day, and that they can improve their control over their Zones through practice.

The second area of Zones of Regulation teaches about tools for changing from one Zone to another, and encourages each child to build a repertoire of tools. The goal is for children to gradually become more able to call upon their toolkit, rather than needing adults to regulate them.


In School

The Zones have been introduced through discrete teaching lessons, assemblies and through our PSHE curriculum. We will also be using the Zones language as part of daily school life so all staff will be referring to them, not just their class teacher. Some children might prefer not to use the ‘Zones language’ but label the emotions directly – this is fine and encouraged!

It is important to note that everyone experiences all of the Zones — the Red and Yellow Zones are not the “bad” or “naughty” Zones. All of the Zones are expected at one time or another. Zones of Regulation is intended to be neutral and does not communicate judgment.