For our children at risk of exclusion, we are clear that the most important end goal is for them to be able to be in the classroom amongst their peers and able to manage the demands of that space in an age-appropriate way. For many of these children, the main barrier to this is that they struggle to regulate their emotions and feelings, which can lead to behavioural escalations. Often these take the forms of risky or unsafe behaviours.
The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to help children understand and recognise their emotions and develop strategies to help them to self-regulate. It comprises a set of lessons run with a small group, followed by setting up “regulation stations” across the school. These are resourced stations including tools for regulating such as sensory games, mini-trampolines and similar. Finally, once the initial teaching stage is done, there is a need for an “available adult” to come and check in in times of need and to reinforce or re-teach strategies as necessary.