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Barford St. Peter's C.E. (V.A.) Primary School

"Together we love; together we learn"

Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is a widely implemented programme for social-emotional regulation, including for our pupils with autism. 


The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared towards helping social emotional learners gain skills in consciously regulating their actions which, in turn, leads to increased control and problem solving abilities


Using a cognitive behaviour approach, the curriculum's learning activities are designed to help our pupils recognise when they are in different states called 'zones' with each of the four zones represented by a different colour


In the activities, our pupils learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Individuals explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones.


There are a wealth of resources online but please see below for a selection of the ones that we think will be useful for you at home. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher or Mrs Rose, our Deputy Head Teacher and SENDCO. All staff have been trained in how to deliver and use The Zones of Regulation as part of our daily school life. 

How can I help my child at home?


  • Identify your own feelings using Zones language in front of your child
  • Talk about what tool you will use to be in the appropriate zone e.g. 'I need to take four deep breaths to help me get back to green zone.'
  • At times, wonder which zone your child is in or a character in a film or a book
  • Teach your child which tools they can use e.g. 'It's time for bed, let's read a book together in the comfy chair to get you in the blue zone.'
  • Regular check-ins e.g. 'How are you feeling?' and 'How can you get back to green?'
  • Share how their behaviour is affecting your own zone. 
  • Put up and reference the zones visuals and tools in your home
  • Praise and encourage your child when they share which zone they are in


Top Tips!


  • Know yourself and how your react in difficult situations before dealing with your child's behaviour
  • Know your child's sensory threshold. We all process sensory information differently and it impacts on our reactivity to situations
  • Know your child's triggers
  • Be consistent in managing your child's behaviour and use consistent language choices
  • Do not deal with an angry, upset child when you are not yet calm yourself
  • Discuss strategies for the next time you are in a similar situation
  • Praise your child for using strategies.
  • Encourage your child to take a sensory break to help regulate their body
  • Create a 'calm' box full of things which help keep your child calm and alert. You could even have a 'calm corner.' Think about lighting, the smell, what it feels like to be there and the sensory objects that might be available to your child - as well as what they can hear.