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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

Values Container

The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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speak the truth

We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.

Shine Together

We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.

stay connected

"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.*
The words of Helen Keller.

keep it simple

In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.

care for all

This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part- all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.

promote peace

We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.

  • Truth
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  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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A Picture Says a Thousand Words (or at Least a Couple Hundred)

A Picture Says a Thousand Words (or at Least a Couple Hundred)

In the Upper School Narrative Journalism elective, students experimented with "knolling" photography as an alternative form of storytelling.

In the Upper School Narrative Journalism elective, students recently engaged in the art of "knolling"—the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization—as an alternative form of storytelling. The term was coined in 1987 by a janitor who worked in Frank Gehry's furniture making shop: When he cleaned at the end of the day, he would neatly arrange the collection of tools at right angles on the benches. He called the practice knolling because it reminded him of the right angles in Florence Knoll's furniture; Gehry was designing for Knoll at the time. 

As an assignment, students designed knolling photography with themes ranging from "A material representation of my time during quarantine " to "What I would be doing outside if I didn't have to wear a mask," then added their backstories. Here are some examples of what these talented tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders created.

Caption: "What I wanted to be when I grew up at different points in my life, things I was obsessed with for a short time: phases, essentially."

Narrative excerpt: "The idea of being a writer was one that I played with on and off for most of my life. I still think about it sometimes, although I've realized that the angsty poems I composed on this typewriter were not actually earth-shattering, heart-breaking, life-changing poetry. Rather, having to hit each key with all of my force to make an actual mark on the paper just helped to assuage some of my pent-up, middle-school anger at the world."


Caption: "A medley of objects with peculiar meaning for his current situation."

Narrative excerpt: "Moving to a virtual platform, Germantown Friends removed Wednesdays for fear of excess screen usage, and whittled the school day down by a few hours. All good news to me: spring migration was coming up, bringing May birding goodies, and my suddenly abundant free time meant I could bird dawn to dusk. My time spent walking tripled, and tripled again. One can't spend all their time birding, but one can try."


Caption: "These items are all connected to specific points in my life I believe have affected who I am forever."

Narrative excerpt: "I knew that I wanted to incorporate my great grandma in my project, mostly because I had lost her a few days prior, but also because her life had a huge impact on mine. I searched throughout my room and found little trinkets of hers, like the tiny metal pig. I also wanted to add other items that are tied to specific events that have changed me, such as the photograph in the middle. Every time I look at it, I get terrible memories from my time at bootcamp, but despite that, it made me a better person. I took the picture and neatly put away all of the belongings, except for the little metal pig, which I held until I fell asleep, hoping that I would see my great grandma in my dreams."

Caption: "Just a few various and seemingly sundry items."

Narrative excerpt: "I was once told that if you put a shell to your ear you can hear the sound of the sea. I've carried that idea with me ever since I was little, and even though it's probably just rushing air that I hear, I still like to think it's the ocean. I love the steady unpredictability of the waves; there's something so spontaneous about them ... I took care in placing the objects so that they would be arranged perfectly, but nothing in life will always be in my control. Maybe one of the reasons I love the ocean so much is because it's something so untouchable yet imperfect in its beauty."