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  • Voices of GFS
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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
  • Shine
  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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Upper School offers a remarkable palette of classes. The curriculum—rich, varied and challenging—aims high. We foster the growth of intellectually curious individuals, helping them become students who can think for themselves—and advocate for themselves, too.

Our course requirements form the foundation of the student program, but there are many ways for students to build an exciting program that allows them to follow their individual passions and explore new interests.

Through programs such as January Term and the Directed Independent Study program students can learn outside the box. All Juniors undertake a month-long independent study. Juniors and seniors are offered the opportunity to enroll in new elective courses each semester through the Global Online Academy, a consortium of schools which have formed to offer world-class online courses across multiple time zones. And with language study often come opportunities for travel.

Our goal as teachers is to create a curriculum that interests, engages and inspires our students, one that speaks to the broad-ranging curiosity of children, invites active exploration, awakens creative response and builds a sense of self awareness.

Our departmental structure not only allows us an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in our field both across and within our divisions, it creates and fosters an environment in which we are constantly challenging ourselves as educators, learning from one another's experiences, reassessing our roles in the classroom and adapting our curriculum to meet the ever-changing and individual needs of our students in today's world.

2023-24 Course Catalog

GFS Upper School Course Booklet and Curriculum