What are SEMH needs? SEMH needs are a type of special educational need where a child communicates through beahaviour in response to unmet social, emotional or mental health needs. Children with SEMH needs often have difficulties in managing their emotions or their behaviour. They can show inappropriate responses to their emotions. They can feel scared, anxious or misunderstood.
In school, we use Zones of Regulation to talk to children about their feelings. We discuss with the children all emotions. No emotion is a bad or a good emotion. It is important that we feel and acknowledge our emotions. As part of our curriculum around Zones of Regulation, we identify strategies which help us to stay in the Green Zone, where we are ready to go and ready to learn. When a child does something out of anger or frustration, we talk about the behaviour and how that behaviour is not acceptable, but the feeling is.