Early Years HighScope

What is HighScope?

"From a young age children are very receptive as they exlplore themselves and the world around them. We as adults and caregivers play a major role in facilitating this process."
Lynne Duffy - Early Years Coordinator

Highscope is an approach to early learning, which identifies and builds on children’s strengths, interests and abilities. The Highscope approach invites children to be actively involved in play throughout the session The HighScope curriculum is used internationally in a variety of settings including day care, créches, playgroups, nursery and primary schools. The goals of Highscope are:

  • To develop children’s ability to take the initiative and make decisions about what they are going to do and how.
  • To develop children’s self-discipline and their ability to identify personal goals and complete self-chosen tasks.
  • To develop children’s ability to apply their reasoning in a wide range of situations and using a variety of materials.

The central belief of the HighScope approach is that children construct their own learning by doing and being involved in working with materials, people and ideas.

The Outcomes for children

HighScope provides children with:

  • A consistent and flexible daily routine which provides for child and adult initiated activities
  • Opportunities to choose, plan, carry out and reflect on their activities
  • Adults who value and appreciate children and provide a creative and supportive learning climate

Findings from the HighScope Perry Preschool Study found that using the HighScope curriculum had positive effects from the time the child attended the HighScope setting up until they were 40, including better school achievement and literacy, more likely to graduate from high school, adult earnings, home owenership and lifetime arrest rates. (Essentials of Active Learning in Preschool, HighScope Educational Research Foundation).

Problem Solving

All staff follow the six steps of conflict resolution to help children sort out their own problems which arise during play, e.g. two children wanting to play with the same toy.

The six steps to problem solving:

  • Place yourself between children, on their level. (use a calm voice and gentle touch).
  • “You look really upset”. (If needed, set limits positively: “pushing needs to stop”, and hold the object).
  • “What’s the problem?” (Or describe the problem you see and look for yes or no response).
  • “So the problem is……”
  • “What can we do to solve this problem?” (Encourage children to think of solutions.
  • “You solved the problem!” (Be prepared to give follow-up support).