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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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Physical Education

Physical Education in the Upper School is focused on fostering a culture of wellness through regular, meaningful physical activity for all members of our community. Our emphasis is on leading students to develop movement skills and to discover individual interests through their participation in class. Upon completion of a semester-long foundational course in the freshman year, students take on increased responsibility for choosing a PE activity plan that best meets their interests.


– 9th grade: One semester PE 9 Foundations; two seasons Athletics
– 10th grade: Three seasons: one season of Athletics; choice of PE or Athletics for other two seasons
– 11th grade: Three seasons, choice of PE or Athletics
– 12th grade: Two seasons, choice of PE or Athletics

The Physical Education and Athletic Programs at GFS complement one another. Learn more about Athletics.


Grade 9

PE300 PE 9 Foundations
required minor (one semester course) | grade: 9
This interdisciplinary class provides a foundation for lifetime fitness and wellness and includes a thorough introduction to the use of our Fitness Center. The understanding and management of one’s own fitness and health are at the core of the curriculum. Topics include nutrition, proper strength-training techniques and the components of fitness.

Grades 10-12

The Physical Education Department provides a rich menu of options in terms of developing personal fitness and exploring fitness options. Students may choose to participate in physical education classes while they are playing a GFS sport but are not required to do so. Physical Education courses are offered by sport season: fall, winter, and spring.

Course offerings are organized as follows:
GFS Fitness Club: Personal fitness activities that meet during or after school (see course descriptions for full information). Fitness Club is two workouts weekly.
• PE Electives: These courses generally occur during the school day and may vary by season. Courses meet for two or three single periods per 8-day cycle, or two extended periods per 8-day cycle to facilitate travel off-campus.


Offerings By Season

All Seasons

PE610 GFS Fitness Club—After School
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Join the GFS Fitness Club and customize your personal fitness plan. This program consists of movement activities and classes that will generally occur after school. Students commit to a minimum of 2 workout periods per week, choosing the days and times that are most convenient.

PE670 Personal Fitness
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Need to finish your school day by 3:20? This Personal Fitness course consists of workout sessions that will occur during the school day.It will meet 3 times per 8-day cycle to allow two workouts per week. No after school workouts are required. All skill levels welcome as you develop an individualized plan that works for you.

PE601 Vinyasa Yoga
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
This all-levels vinyasa (flow) yoga class offers poses designed to stretch and strengthen your body using your own breath as your guide, so that you can find the balance that is most appropriate for you! A strong emphasis is placed on proper alignment, which helps you to stay centered and present while avoiding injury. Poses, especially more challenging ones are taught slowly and thoughtfully, so that you can experience each shape according to your own range of motion. This class offers a nice opportunity to release physical and mental stress, while cultivating inner peace and relaxation - no experience necessary! Class meets after school once a week. Students must be available each Thursday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to take this class.


PE710 Archery
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Experience the Zen of this target shooting sport. All skill levels welcome.

PE720 Golf
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Learn the basics of golf and head out to the links. All skill levels welcome.

PE700 Badminton/Net Games
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Back by popular demand! Take your game to a new level. Hone your skills and play, play, play. We will begin with badminton and may include other net games, e.g. volleyball or pickle ball based on student interest. All skill levels welcome.

THT800 Movement for Theatre
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
This course trains the actor in methods and techniques for opening and conditioning the physical body, one of the actor’s primary instruments for artistic expression. Students increase awareness, range, and freedom of movement while exploring the fundamental importance of space, weight, and time as theatrical principles. The course assumes a collaborative approach to theater-making in the study of ensemble-based techniques. Students can also expect to focus on flexibility, strength-training, breathwork, coordination and balance, creative, and improvisational movement. This is not a performance-based class and no prior experience is needed. This course can be taken for PE or Theatre credit.


PE730 Table Tennis/Urban Adventures
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Individualized instruction and visits to the local table tennis club to play. Explore other recreational opportunities based on student interest. All skill levels welcome.

PE740 Fencing
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Learn the basics of foil fencing through games and footwork training. Once you acquire a solid grounding in movement skills, correct hitting and tactical distance concepts, we may progress to the introduction of steel weapons and blade work. All skill levels welcome.

PE750 Winter in the Wissahickon/Urban Adventures
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Majestic at any time of year, the Wissahickon beckons hikers, birders and outdoor enthusiasts in the winter months. Explore it, and other urban recreational opportunities in this class. All skill levels welcome.


PE760 Ultimate Frisbee/Disc Golf
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Get outside and play! Get comfortable learning to throw and catch the disc playing Ultimate Frisbee. Then try your hand at Disc Golf. We will travel to the Disc Golf course in Fairmount Park to play after learning how to throw disc “drivers" and “putters.” All skill levels welcome.

PE780 Wissahickon Hiking
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Take to the hills, rocks and valley. Observe the re-awakening of the forest. Venture onto a variety of trails, and savor the spring. Bouldering and rock climbing are possibilities, depending on student interest. All skill levels welcome.

THT810 Modern Dance
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
This course is an all-levels modern dance class that includes explorations in technique, improvisation, and choreography. Students will engage methods and language common to a variety of modern dance styles and concepts. Most material will be learned through physical participation as students deepen their awareness of the body and explore the connection between the physical, cognitive, and emotional aspects of themselves. Should they choose, students will have the opportunity to perform as part of the annual Poley Festival of student-created work. Course material will be leveled based on the experience of those registered, therefore, previous dance experience is welcome, but not necessary. This course can be taken for PE or Theatre credit.

Request for Alternate Physical Education Credit

Tenth through twelfth graders who pursue an activity outside of the GFS Athletics program that is equal to being on a GFS Athletics team may request Alternate Physical Education Credit for their participation. Requests should be made online via the Exceptions & Alternatives Form. In general, alternate credit is only given for activities which are not offered as part of the GFS PE/Athletics program. Students who are approved for alternate credit must complete assignments through Google Classroom to document their progress and train a minimum of six hours a week.