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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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8th Grade Curriculum

We are excited about our Middle School program at GFS!

We hope this video will help you gain a greater understanding of the offerings for 8th grade students as well as important choices for consideration. 

Features of the 8th Grade Curriculum

English

  • Study of the personal essay, poetry, novels, and drama
  • Frequent writing builds stamina and voice 
  • Focus on the complexity and clarity of both critical and creative writing
  • Continued work developing grammar and diction skills with support from IXL 

Science

  • Study of Earth cycles and its interconnected systems
  • Emphasis on environmental science
  • Focus on research skills and writing papers and lab reports
  • Experiment-based independent projects for Science Night, grades 8-12

Foreign Language Study

  • Students continue with level 1b of their seventh grade language. They can add Latin 1 or Greek 1 as a second language. 
  • Questions about language choice can be directed to the relevant department chair: Amy Celentano, Head of Modern Language or Natasha Labbe, Head of Classics.
  • Please speak with your student's advisor about the program implications of taking a second language in Upper School.
Classical Language Modern Language
  • Study of grammar and vocabulary
  • Exploration of Mediterranean culture
  • Building proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing
  • Cultural investigation
  • Ancient Greek
  • Latin
  • French 
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin (new option for Middle School in 2019-20)

Math

  • Builds upon the Algebra I topics introduced in 7th grade, completing all topics in a rigorous Algebra I curriculum. (Complete Algebra 1)
  • Emphasizes problem-solving, adaptive reasoning, and higher order thinking skills
  • The standard course prepares students for higher level math courses that culminate in Calculus in senior year
  • GFS also offers an Accelerated course, which covers the same content, but moves at a faster pace, considering material with greater depth. Following this curricular trajectory at GFS results in a two-year, sequential Calculus course in junior and senior year. 
  • The Math Department is open to engaging in conversation about moving into accelerated math at any stage and welcomes queries from families and students 

History

  • U.S. History
  • Reconstruction to the present: civil rights, foreign policy, immigration, and economics
  • Foundational work on research and writing skills
  • Focus on social justice

Physical Education (PE)

  • Develop fundamental motor and social skills through participation in group and partner work, especially problem-solving activities
  • Engage in adventure education activities that emphasize group work and problem-solving
  • Develop an appreciation for the diversity of fitness and skill levels

Athletics

  • Integral part of our school curriculum
  • Experience the lessons of teamwork and sportsmanship
  • Develop fundamental skills and game strategies
  • Required to participate in two after-school sports out of three seasons
    • Choices for the fall: Cross Country (B/G), Soccer (B/G), Field Hockey (G), Tennis (G)
    • Choices for the winter: Basketball, Squash, Outdoor Track, Wrestling (all B/G)
    • Choices for the spring: Lacrosse (G), Softball (G), Track & Field (B/G), Baseball (B), Tennis (B)
  • Theater Movement Arts is an option for the Winter Season

Music

  • Focus on fundamentals: musical understanding through listening 
  • Study of the music of social justice 
  • Student participation in the annual musical
  • Opportunity to participate in any of three performing ensembles: Orchestra, Chorus, and Jazz

Art

  • Study of the formal and conceptual issues of art
  • Topics: color theory, composition and design, symmetry and balance, perspective, and personal voice
  • Projects sequenced to build skills and understanding 
  • Art History through the lens of artistic problem solving

Theatre

  • Students have the option to elect Drama during their EXPO blocks
  • These trimester-long sessions focus on the preparation and production of a short one-act play
  • Theatre is integrated into classroom teaching; partnerships between drama faculty and other core teachers help to bring the power of theater into the teaching of curricular texts
  • Opportunity to elect after-school Theatre Movement Arts for the winter season

Advisory

  • Advisor works with 10-11 students, serves as point person throughout the year
  • Daily morning meetings and weekly grade-level group meetings 
  • Advisors meet with parents during conferences and communicate with students’ other teachers 

Learn more about the 8th grade program.