Zones of Regulation
Our school prides itself on the warm relationships between staff and children and this is made possible by only appointing staff who display warmth, cheerfulness and a level of consistency in their personality and by also having efficient systems in place, as well as having high levels of supervision. Staff work hard to motivate and challenge children on their journey of faith inspiring them to be the ‘best they can be’.
Through a structured and clear system of behaviour rewards and sanctions we will achieve very high standards of behaviour, always emphasising the importance of learning and concentration in classes and being reflective.
By addressing any low-level behaviour, we reduce the likelihood of more significant behaviour issues. Staff understand that behaviour is always a form of communication and it is staff’s role to understand what the children are saying.
We are a happy school and we strive to have no-one feeling lonely on the playground. You will not hear shouting from staff in our school and the children have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and are encouraged to reflect on their behaviour and the impact it has on others.
In PHSE/Catholic Social Teaching lessons, we provide children with the opportunity to learn about behaviour, feelings and emotions. We discuss different emotions and different situations and talk about how to respond at different times.
"Education is not about knowing things or taking lessons but about being able to use three lingos: those of the head, the heart, and the hands... learning so that you can think about what you feel and do, can feel what you think and do, and can do what you feel and think. Unity within a person."
Any child at any time can struggle with their emotions and at SSMJ we feel it is important to help children acknowledge those emotions and feelings are ‘normal’ meaning everyone feels them at some point and then give the children those self-regulation strategies to cope and then continue with their learning.
First we need to understand the terminology of ‘self-regulation’ which is defined as
“The ability to do what needs to be done to be in the optimal state for the given situation.”
This is not about children ‘getting away’ with behaviour but about children being given the opportunities to learn from poor choices and make better ones in the future. It is about acknowledging and making children aware they are in the ‘wrong zone’ for learning and that has resulted in making a wrong choice. It is important that incidents are acknowledged and discussions take place about ‘how to put it right’ but children should understand they are not defined by that incident and be allowed to move on. Every child should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.
We have recently introduced ‘Zones of Regulation’. This is a resource used to support children with self-regulation and acknowledging feeling any emotion is ok, but we need to move our emotions back to a place where learning can take place. The learning takes place through lessons and provides children with the resources to move themselves back into the ‘green zone’ where the most effective learning can take place. This is defined as ‘Emotional Coaching’.
Zones of Regulation Learning Objectives:
- What the four zones are and which emotions belong to each zone.
- How to identify which zone are in.
- What triggers are cause you to move out of the green zone.
- How to recognise what zone are in.
- Strategies to move from yellow, blue, or red
- Expected behaviour vs unexpected behaviour
- Size of the problem.
- How affect what zone other people are in (comfortable and uncomfortable thoughts).
What happened? – its important the child feels there is an open forum and guilt is not assumed.
“How do you feel?”
“How do you think they feel?”
“What were your feelings at the time?”
“How can you fix this?”
“What examples can you think of when you have seen someone be unkind?” Bible stories/teachings can be used.
“What can you do next to repair this /put things right?”
As part of the ‘Zones of Regulation’ all children have a ‘Zones Board’. Each child is encouraged to place their photo/name on the colour square they are currently on. This will be done on entry to the classroom so adults and other children are aware of how children in the classroom are feeling. As adults and children acknowledge the different zones, strategies to use may be suggested by staff and children which may include:
- A chat with a peer or adult about what has brought them to that zone and how we can get back to green zone. Filling out a think sheet to allow them to sequence and organise their thoughts.
- A child doing a ‘job’ to give them time to think about what has brought them to that zone.
- A five-minute quiet reading/activity time to help them think and to bring them back to the green zone.
- A few minutes’ meditation session where they concentrate on their breathing and bringing themselves back to the green zone.