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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

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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.

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Activities

There are a wide variety of extracurricular activities available to Lower School students, including private instrumental lessons and music ensembles; world language instruction; Early Risers; Animal Care; Lunch Art; and Math Club. Some of these activities occur in the morning, before school begins, some meet during lunch period, and some convene after school. Here are just a few examples of the programs that are offered:

Art

Lunch Art

Tap into your inner Picasso!

Lunch Art is an informal program that will be offered periodically throughout the year as a time for students to catch up on class art projects. It is open to any grade level.

Intramural Sports

Early Risers

Wake up and get moving!

Early Risers is a voluntary intramural sports program which provides an opportunity for boys and girls to have fun while learning fundamental skills and playing in a cooperative team setting.

There are options for Basketball, Field Hockey and Lacrosse.

Early Risers meets one morning per week in the Field House and Scattergood Gym for two sessions: one in the late fall and the other before Spring Break. The program is led by members of the GFS coaching staff, with support from parent volunteers. There is a nominal fee to cover costs. 

Math

Math Club

Puzzles, numbers, logic – oh, my!

Students are invited during lunch and recess to play math games, work on puzzles and solve logic problems. Some favorites of our students include: Math 24 Game, Kenken and Math Olympiad. This activity is voluntary and students are welcome to come as often as they like. The main idea is to make math fun!

Math Lunch is offered to third graders during a lunch period once a week. Students work together to solve the week's challenging math problem and build on each other's ideas, strategies and skills.

Music

Let’s make some music together!

Orchestra

  • Open to students in grades 1-5 who have been taking private lessons on an orchestral instrument for more than 1 year, by audition
  • Fall (October-December) and Spring (April-June)

chorus

  • Open to all fourth and fifth graders; no experience is required. 
  • Fall (October-December) and Spring (April-June)

World Percussion

  • Open to all fourth and fifth graders; no experience is required.
  • Fall (October-December) and Spring (April-June)

For more information about private instrumental music lessons at GFS, please click here.

Science

Animal Care

Animal Care

Help take care of our science room animals!

This program provides students in the fifth grade with the opportunity to learn care and feeding skills for the animals in the science rooms. Students come from 8-8:30 a.m. during their appointed time, and care for a chosen animal, often with a partner, for three to four days at a time, then switch to another animal. All students are encouraged to sign up for this program; second turns are only granted once everyone who wishes to participate has had a chance.

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