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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 foundational course in the freshman year, students take on increased responsibility for choosing a PE activity plan that best meets their interests.


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

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

Grade 9

830 PE Foundations
required minor | 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. Students also take part in group building, rugby, Ultimate Frisbee and softball activities.

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 before or after school (see course descriptions for full information).
  • PE Electives: These courses generally occur during the school day and may vary by season. Courses meet for two single periods/week, or one double period.

Offerings By Season

All Seasons

861 GFS Fitness Club
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/ before school. Access to the Fitness Center, and other physical activities e.g. Dance, Yoga, Walking, are offered based on student interest and sign up. Students commit to a minimum of 2 activity periods per week, choosing the days and times that are most convenient.

867 Get Strong
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Focus on improving your personal health, fitness and strength while learning correct lifting technique, and the principles of exercise physiology behind workouts. Different training methods, e.g. cross-fit, plyometrics, Tabata, will be introduced to keep it interesting. All skill levels welcome as you develop an individualized plan that works for you.

864 Theater/Dance Workout
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Coursework includes methods and techniques for opening and conditioning the body for creative expression. Students develop body awareness and kinesthetic-response skills through the study of modern dance forms, yoga, and physical theater training structures. Students can expect to focus on flexibility, strength-training, breathwork, coordination and balance, creative and improvisational movement. The course is designed with the physical needs of actors and dancers in mind, but is not limited to students who identify as such. No prior experience necessary.


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

872 Golf
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Learn the basics of golf and head out to the links (that’s another name for a golf course.) All skill levels welcome.

870 Volleyball/Badminton
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Take these backyard games to a new level. Hone your skills and play, play, play. All skill levels welcome.


873 Bowling
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Individualized instruction and visits to the local bowling alley to play. All skill levels welcome.

874 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 will progress to the introduction of steel weapons and blade work. All skill levels welcome.

875 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.


876 Ultimate Frisbee
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Get outside and play! Enjoy this fast-paced, friendly game. All skill levels welcome.

877 Disc Golf
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Essentially, this sport is golf using a disc, often referred to as a “Frisbee.” Did you know that there is a Disc Golf course in Fairmount Park? We will go there to play after learning how to throw disc “drivers’ and “putters.” All skill levels welcome.

878 Wissahickon Hiking and Climbing
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
Take to the hills, rocks and valley. Observe the re-awakening of the forest, and make your way to Livezey Rock for a bit of bouldering and possibly rock climbing. All skill levels welcome.

Exceptions & Alternatives

Students in tenth, eleventh, twelfth grade who pursue an activity outside of the GFS Athletics program that is equal to being on a GFS athletics team may request "Outside Physical Education Credit" for their participation, applying via the Exceptions & Alternatives Form.

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