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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.

  • Truth
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  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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The Classics department offers Latin in grades 7-12 and Ancient Greek in grades 8-12.

Our Classics teachers focus on training students to develop proficiency in the language and to become close, analytical readers of the literature. Our program covers quite a breadth of material—students read a wide range of poetry and prose texts, and they learn about ancient philosophy, rhetoric, culture and history.

Students come out of our program able to interpret, analyze, and connect the texts that have shaped Western literature for the last two millennia. Events like Classics Day and our annual Roman elections involve all of our students in lively, collaborative learning. Many of our students go on to study Classics in college and beyond.


571 Ancient Greek I
major elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This course provides the beginning of a foundation in the basic grammar of ancient Greek, with a focus on developing a strong working vocabulary and a basic proficiency in reading and writing. From early on, students will read sentences and stories based on the Ancient Greek authors, building towards reading adapted selections of Homer’s Odyssey. We will study various aspects of Greek archaeology and culture, from the Heroic Bronze Age on down. During January Term, 8th grade students will complete projects.

572 Ancient Greek II
major elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Ancient Greek I

Students will continue to work in A Reading Course in Homeric Greek, completing their study of basic Greek grammar. Greek II provides the groundwork necessary to read real, ancient Greek authors and some of the landmarks of Greek literature, beginning with Homer. We will continue to study Greek culture and archaeology as a context to our readings of the Homeric epics.

573 Ancient Greek III
major elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Ancient Greek II

Starting in the third year, students begin to translate and explore actual ancient literature. Topics and genres will vary year to year, and may include Greek history (e.g., Herodotus or Xenophon), legal oratory (Lysias), tragedy (Euripides) or epic (Homer). We will explore the social and historical context of the works as well as their literary aspects and later influences. Students will undertake related projects individually or in small groups.

574 Ancient Greek IV
major elective | grades: 11, 12
prerequisite: Ancient Greek III

Topics and genres will vary year by year, and may include Greek history (e.g., Herodotus or Xenophon), legal oratory (Lysias), tragedy (Euripides) or epic (Homer). We will explore the social and historical context of the works as well as their literary aspects and later influences. Students will undertake related projects individually or in small groups.

575 Ancient Greek V
major elective | grade: 12
prerequisite: Ancient Greek IV

Topics and genres will vary year by year, and may include Greek history (e.g., Herodotus or Xenophon), legal oratory (Lysias), tragedy (Euripides) or epic (Homer). We will explore the social and historical context of the works as well as their literary aspects and later influences. Students will undertake related projects individually or in small groups.


532 Latin I
major elective | grades: 9, 10, 11
An introduction to the Latin language and its basic forms, vocabulary and grammar. Since students taking this course will join those students in the two-year Middle School course, there is strong emphasis on mastering grammar and forms. The class discusses the relation of Latin to French, Spanish, and English, and pays close attention to English vocabulary through Latin roots. The reading material uses adapted, authentic works of Latin literature to increase student interest and enliven discussion of Greek and Roman culture.

531 Latin II
major elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Latin I

This second-year course completes the study of Latin grammar and provides increasing emphasis on reading. Students develop the skills necessary to read Latin as the Romans wrote it, and to consider the historical and cultural implications of their language and literature in contrast to our own. Students also read longer passages of connected Latin prose.

541 Latin III (History)
major elective | grade: 10
prerequisite: Latin II | co-requisite: 241 Latin History

By combining the study of history and third-year Latin, this course affords students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in interdisciplinary study. The centerpiece of the course concerns the immediate events that brought the Roman Republic to an end. By reading Caesar’s account of the Civil War (De bello civili) and Cicero’s letters describing the same events, students become intimately familiar with the only primary documents that have survived from this time— documents which every historian of this period must rely upon and know. The reasons for the Republic’s demise are set within the overall trajectory of Roman history, beginning with the pre-monarchic period. However, students spend most of the year studying the rise of the Roman Republic, its constitution and the ethos of its ruling class.

In Latin III, students become familiar with the rhetorical style of Cicero by translating both his first and fourth orations against Catiline (In Catilinam I & IV). From March through the end of the year, students study the Roman imperial period, the rise of Christianity, the proto-states of Western Europe and their evolution into distinct nations up to the year 1100, concentrating on England and France. While analyzing the reasons for the collapse of the empire in the West and the historical conditions that created the medieval world, students read excerpts from relevant Latin texts of Augustus Caesar, the Gospel of Matthew, Tacitus, Lactantius, Orosius, Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Einhard and Fulcher of Chartres. This assortment of primary Latin texts allows students to discover the evolution of the Latin language, as well as the refocusing of human concerns from a Classical to a medieval perspective.

542 Latin III (Literature)
major elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Latin II

Students who love myths and legends will be amazed at their ability to move into the regular reading of Latin at level three. Latin III Literature focuses on Ovid’s works: Metamorphoses, Amores and Heroides. Ovid appeared at an important juncture in Roman literary history, coming into his prime after Horace, Vergil and Catullus had died, and just as the Roman empire was taking form. Ovid’s magnum opus, Metamorphoses, will lead students through Greek myths and ancient legends in the epic meter of dactylic hexameter. In Ovid’s Amores, his shorter poems written in elegiac couplets, he takes on a persona who is struggling with various aspects of love, including rivals and rejection. Students also read from his Heroides, letters by famous women to their former lovers, such as Medea to Jason and Dido to Aeneas. Latin III Literature prepares students for the rigor of reading Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin IV. Students will be fully steeped in all aspects of reading and interpreting Latin poetry, and will understand the social and historical context in which Ovid and Vergil wrote their works.

551 Latin IV
major elective | grades: 11, 12
prerequisite: Latin III (History) or Latin III (Literature)

In this course, we will focus on Vergil’s Aeneid as a literary, historical, and philosophical text, and will discuss such topics as the nature of epic and the use of symbolism in poetry. While continuing to refine their skills in translation, use of meter and knowledge of literary devices, the students will also consider the Aeneid in its role as heir to Greek literature—and as seminal to the literature and thought of Western Europe since the Roman period. Students will also produce a film for Classics Day.

561 Latin V
major elective | grade: 12
prerequisite: Latin IV

Students will read, discuss and write on a variety of Roman authors and topics, chosen in consultation between the continuing Latin IV students and the teacher. Topics include Roman comedy or law and poetry. Roman comedy, for example, translates Plautus’ Menaechmi, the story of identical twins separated in infancy. Law and poetry explore the same cast of historic persons in both a scandalous legal case conducted by Cicero, and poetry written by Catullus. Attention will be given to social context, to its historical and cultural background and to literary interpretation. On Classics Day, Latin V students stage a Roman triumph, having first read about triumphs in ancient prose and poetry. Other projects will be developed in consultations between teacher and students.