Weston on Trent Church of England (Aided) Primary School

Let Your Light Shine

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Mindfulness and Zones of Regulation

At Weston on Trent C of E Primary School, we want all members of the school to flourish and for every member of our community to be enabled to 'Let Your Light Shine'. Taking care of their mental well-being is an essential part of this.

Stress and anxiety affect how we process information and how we interpret what is said to us. This can lead to both miscommunication and to difficulties concentrating. We are working as a school to introduce mindfulness practice as a key life skill. If children are able to still their minds and be calm this will give them an excellent coping mechanism for the inevitable challenges of life.

To this end, we have taught the whole school the High 5 breathing technique so that they can calm themselves.

The pandemic has highlighted more than ever the need to care for the mental well-being of all members of the school community as well as their physical, academic and spiritual development. 

In order to give the children the vocabulary to enable them to articulate how they are feeling, we have adopted the Zones of Regulation approach as a school.

(The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control created by Occupational Therapist Leah M. Kuypers.) This is because we feel that these were relevant and valuable skills for all of our pupils to learn and develop. We have also believe that it will help us to develop a common language across the school through which to discuss emotions and behaviours.

Teachers will share the content of the curriculum flexibly with their classes in line with their age and stage of development and in response to the needs of the cohort.  All classrooms will have the Zones on display.


What is self-regulation?

Self-regulation can be described as the ability to adjust your level of alertness (including your senses, emotions and impulses) to fit the situation you are in and express this through socially appropriate behaviours. For example, the level of alertness required to read a book in a library and that needed to compete in a football match are very different, and the socially expected behaviours in each situation would also differ. It encompasses the skills of self-control, resilience, anger management, impulse control and sensory regulation.


What is ‘The Zones of Regulation?'

  • A framework to simplify how we think about and manage our feelings and states
  • A supportive teaching tool. It categorises complex feelings and states into four coloured ‘Zones’
  • It improves the ability to recognise and communicate feelings in a safe, non-judgemental way
  • It helps develop ‘tools’ to move between Zones

It is not

  • A discipline model or behaviour approach
  • Punitive or shaming of negative emotions


There is no ‘bad’ Zone, all Zones are ‘expected’ at different times and in different circumstances. You can be in more than one Zone at a time. Some emotions may fall into more than one Zone


The Zones

  • The Blue Zone: a low energy state where the ‘slow’ feelings reside, e.g. sad, tired, bored, sick
  • The Green Zone: the optimum state for the classroom and includes feelings such as: happy, calm, focussed, proud
  • The Yellow Zone: a high energy state where the ‘fizzy’ feelings are found, e.g. excited, frustrated, anxious, silly
  • The Red Zone: an ‘out of control’ state including feelings such as: angry, aggressive, terrified, elated


Key Language

  • Toolbox: a collection of calming and alerting strategies a child can draw upon (can be a literal toolbox or a collection of known strategies)
  • Tools: calming or alerting strategies that support self-regulation
  • Trigger: something that causes the child to become less regulated and increases the likelihood of going into the Yellow or Red Zones
  • Stop, Opt, Go: a concept to aid children in controlling impulses and support them in problem- solving better solutions
  • Expected behaviours: behaviours that give those around you good or comfortable thoughts about you
  • Unexpected behaviours: behaviours that give people uncomfortable thoughts about you
  • Inner Critic: negative, self-defeating thoughts
  • Inner Coach: positive, helpful thoughts


The Colour Monster

We have used 'The Colour Monster in school for a while and it works very well alongside the Zones of Regulation'. This character, from the story of the same name by Anna Llenas, can be used by the children to indicate that they are feeling ‘mixed up’ inside, experiencing many emotions at once or are not sure how they are feeling. The book will also be used as a way of introducing the idea of matching colours to feelings with our children.



  • Weston on Trent Church of England (Aided) Primary School,
  • Forrester Avenue, Weston-on-Trent,
  • Derby, England,
  • DE72 2HX
  • Tel: 01332700488
  • Email: