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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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  • Peace

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Visual Arts

Lower School

Students in the Lower School Art Studio are given the opportunity to explore working in a variety of different media. They are encouraged to experiment, engage and create using paint, clay, collage, sculptural and digital media in a structured and supportive environment.

painting of a tiger's head

The art studio work is closely tied to studies in their classroom as well as Art History from Prehistoric art to Contemporary artists. Lower School artists develop a series of sequentially taught skills throughout their art experience. Students attend art class once a week for 40 minutes in half-classroom divisions.

In Woodshop, Lower School students explore another world of making. Starting with third grade, the program helps students learn to use tools in a variety of ways to create objects from wood in an intentional and encouraging learning environment. Projects often tie to the social studies curriculum but serve as a vehicle to learn tools and techniques. Students attend class once a week for 40 minutes in groups of 8-12.

Middle School

The Middle School art curriculum explores the formal issues of art through the investigation of color theory, composition and design, symmetry and balance, and perspective; it develops students’ skills through a sequence of varied projects.

In addition, students learn art history by exploring how different artists have solved problems. This required course meets once a week in sixth grade, and four times a week for half the year in seventh and eighth grades.

Upper School

The prerequisite for all Upper School studio art courses is Foundation of Art. Students are introduced to the formal issues in two and three dimensional art including line, value, composition, scale, positive/negative relationships, and color theory.

Upper level studio courses include Art History, Drawing and Painting, Color and Design, Photography, 3D Design, and Senior Studio.

Early Childhood Program

teacher at small table leading watercolor painting with young studentsOur youngest students' work with art is both structured and open-ended.

An artist works with the children each week, exploring and discovering different materials and using them as a means of expression. Focusing on the basic elements of art provides children with the skills and language to create, explore, and discuss art forms well beyond their Early Childhood years.

During art, the children typically engage in multi-session projects, such as portraiture, ceramics, and silk screening.

ECP students also showcase their art in the annual All-School Art Show. 

art showing buildings made from colorful shapes

Visual Art Gallery

Lower School Art Class Process Videos

First grade artists created these amazing mirror designs, inspired by the work of folk artists in Mexico. We discussed different images and designs in both Spanish and Art class. Students created their own images using radial symmetry and pattern. We ended this project by creating these embossed metal mirrors that accentuate our composition. In Mexico, artwork that is both functional and beautiful is known as artesanía. Enjoy our beautiful collaborative work!

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