HighScope Curriculum

Trinity Child Care's approach to learning is based on the HighScope Curriculum, which emphasizes active participatory learning involving direct, hands-on experiences that will instill a love of learning in the child. In HighScope, children are encouraged to construct their own knowledge through interactions with the people, events, things, and ideas around them.

Content Areas

The curriculum is divided into eight content areas, specifically:

  • approaches to learning
  • language, literacy, and communication
  • social and emotional development
  • physical development and health
  • mathematics
  • science and technology
  • social studies, and
  • creative arts

Key Development Indicators

Each content area includes a number of Key Development Indicators (KDIs), which are observable behaviors demonstrating the emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of a child. In HighScope, there are 58 KDIs. For example, some of the Social and Emotion Development KDIs are developing a positive self-identity, building relationships, and learning how to resolve social conflicts. Some of the Mathematics KDIs are recognizing and using number words and symbols, counting, measuring, identifying patterns, and analyzing data.


In HighScope, teachers are charged with assessing a child's development through comprehensive observations. Several times a year, teachers prepare assessment scores based on these observations and review them with parents or guardians. The scores allow teachers to prepare developmentally appropriate learning opportunities to monitor progress in partnership with a child's parents or guardians.

A Day in the Life of Trinity Child Care

Listed below is a schedule of a typical day at Trinity Child Care. In parenthesis under each scheduled event is an explanation of HighScope's unique approach to the scheduled item that maximizes its learning potential.

8:00-8:50         Greeting time/breakfast/children brush teeth
(greeting sets a tone for the day and establishes positive interaction with adults; meals provide opportunities for conversation to build vocabulary and develop a sense of community; brushing teeth reinforces basic hygiene)

8:50-9:00         Planning time
(children are encouraged to plan their activities and think about how they will execute their plans)

9:00-10:20         Work time
(after their plans are complete, children are free to put their plans into execution)

10:20-10:30         Clean-up time
(At clean-up, children sort, count, and categorize; children are free to explore areas and be responsible to leave them in good order for the next child)

10:30-10:40         Recall time
(after work is complete, children share their experiences with the teacher so that the class can understand their interpretation of work time; they reflect on whether they completed their plans; children can use words or drawings to communicate during recall time)

10:40-11:05         Small group
(an opportunity to explore the interests of children based on the teacher's observations)

11:05-11:50         Outdoor time/gross motor
(an opportunity for outdoor exercise in the playground or on short walks around the neighborhood; children can observe nature or learn cooperative play)

11:50-12:40         Lunch/brush teeth
(nutrition, conversation, and hygiene)

12:40-1:40         Nap time
(children are not forced to nap, but this is time to calm down, rest, and recharge)

1:40-2:00         Clean-up/bathroom/cots away
(reinforcing a sense of order and routine in the children's environment)

2:00-2:15         Large group
(an opportunity to enjoy music and movement)

2:15-2:55         Work time
(an opportunity to engage in learning activities in one or more of the eight content areas)