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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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Library

The Friends Free Library supports our Lower School students in their growth as readers, and as seekers and evaluators of information. Students spend time in the library every week, listening to stories and choosing books to read. Lessons focus on how information is organized, how to find it, and how to assess its suitability and value.

Our collection consists of fiction and nonfiction titles intended to stimulate readers’ interest and to support and enhance the Lower School curriculum. We hope to instill in our students a love of the written word and to create a generation of lifelong readers.

Friends Free Library is open to the public as well as the school community, and families are encouraged to visit the library. Adult family members may establish their own library accounts; simply ask at the circulation desk.

The library’s catalog is always available online, along with other information about the library’s policies and programs. Suggested reading lists for grades K through 5 (containing both librarians’ and students’ recommendations), and lists of books relating to the schools’ Quaker Testimonies can be found on the catalog’s opening page.

Kindergarten

Meets once a week for 40 minutes.

Stories read in the library share themes of life in family and community, and complement the kindergarten classroom curriculum. Discussion topics dealing with families, friendships and childhood situations are generated from the story, and children become familiar with the works of specific authors and illustrators. Students also learn and practice basic library stewardship—browsing and selecting books from a preselected display, checking out, caring for, and returning borrowed library books.

First Grade

Meets once a week for 30 minutes.

Stories read aloud in the library relate to community values and Quaker Testimonies, and connect with classroom social studies units. Discussions center on how story themes appear in students’ daily lives. Students are introduced to the organization of a library, and begin to locate fiction and nonfiction books on the shelves for themselves. They practice identifying “just-right” books. As part of a research project for science, they will learn to locate information in one of the library's subscription databases.

Second Grade

Meets once a week for 30 minutes.

Stories read in the library include award-winning titles chosen from the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpre lists. Discussions stem from that week’s book selection; children are encouraged to share their opinions and offer their own critiques. We also share stories relating to classroom thematic units, such as colonial times and Native Americans. Students continue to learn how libraries are organized and the process of locating and evaluating their own materials within the library. In January, students will have a chance to select the book they think should win this year's Caldecott medal

Third Grade

Meets once a week for 30 minutes.

Stories read in the library focus on “versions” of folk and fairy tales across cultures. We also share stories relating to classroom thematic units. Students continue to study how information is organized, with a particular focus on nonfiction library materials and on locating information online. They begin using the library catalog and subscription databases.

Fourth Grade

Meets once a week for 30 minutes.

Students study the research process, learning how to choose and use both online and print sources of information. We continue to strengthen students’ independent “library literacy” skills, including how to find fiction and nonfiction titles of interest on the shelves and how nonfiction books are organized in libraries. Stories relating to Greek mythology are highlighted.

Fifth Grade

Meets once a week for 30 minutes.

Students practice developing appropriate search strategies for print and online sources, and learn to evaluate information sources. Library and classroom teachers coordinate instruction in library skills and research with classroom projects. Stories read aloud in library feature themes relevant to classroom studies of Islam and the Middle Ages.