Mission & Values

Rooted in the practice of Quaker values, Frankford Friends School nurtures the mind and spirit of every student in our diverse community. Our students and graduates let their lives speak in the pursuit of lifelong learning, commitment to social justice, and service to their communities.

Simplicity. Peace. Integrity. Community. Equality. Stewardship.

The Quaker testimonies and our “Frankford-friendly” values are artfully woven into our day. We care deeply about being a school in which every member of the community makes a personal commitment to joyful learning and the betterment of themselves and the world.

Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking.

Students learn best when they are given opportunities to dig into​ ​challenges and devise their own solutions to real-world problems. Our students learn through​ rich experiences that provoke ​their thinking and curiosity ​and enable them to draw connections between academic content and ​the world.

In the City and of the City.

Our students come from all over the City of Philadelphia. Classes use public transportation to travel to exciting destinations across Philadelphia, check out books at the neighborhood’s Free Library, experience nature while exploring in the city’s parks, work with city officials and leaders, and partner with local organizations to understand more about the joys and challenges of urban life. Through fostering a love for our city, we help grow proud city dwellers who know how to navigate safely and who are active stewards of their own neighborhoods and communities.

Explore FFS

Our Campus

Take a Virtual Tour

Our campus is closed, but our virtual campus is open! Take a look around our corner of Frankford.

1

IDEA Lab

(click to view)

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Frankford Friends School IDEA Lab (Innovation, Design, Engineering, Art) serves as the physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative. Spanning two floors, it has the tools and space that our students need to freely explore, innovate, and create with confidence.

Look inside ⇢

2

The Nest

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Nest is the award-winning, half-acre green space on campus that provides joyful opportunities for our students to freely explore, investigate, and observe the natural world around them. The space includes three rain and pollinator gardens, vegetable gardens, mud kitchens, spaces for dirt digging, building and climbing, and a waterworks for water play.

Look around ⇢

3

The Holt

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Holt provides open space where students can work on collaborative projects and for classes to showcase their work. Our front office and space for meetings is also located there. Make sure to stop by and say hi to Miss Liz!

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4

Middle School

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The FFS Middle School is home to our 5th through 8th graders who work and learn together during four core classes that meet everyday - Math, Science, Spanish and Humanities. They also explore their interests during classes in technology, performing and visual arts, and physical education. With inquiry and self expression at the root of each class, all students develop strong analytical and problem solving skills that prepare them for the competitive high schools they go on to attend. 

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5

School Yard

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Our students get fresh air and have joyful interactions with their friends while in the schoolyard at the center of our main campus. Our chickens and bees, which also have their home there, enjoy watching our students play kickball, four square, and other active games or spending quiet time with students who want time for relaxation.

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6

The Annex

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Our physical education program shares space with a performance space and stage that can seat 400 guests. Beneath, all students in grades PreK to 5 sing, read and write music, play rhythm instruments, do dramatic play, and learn to improvise while participating in our classroom music program. All fourth graders learn a string instrument (violin, viola, or cello), lent to them by the school and learn to play both singly and as an ensemble. The orchestra room is lined with shelves made from the antique wooden pews that previously graced our space. Middle School students can choose from electives that include theater, choir, handbells, orchestra, and jazz band.

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7

Carol & Terrence A. Farley Building

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Carol & Terrence A. Farley Building, home to the Lower School and Early Childhood Center, began as a one-room schoolhouse in 1833.  On the first floor, first through fourth graders have spacious classrooms each equipped with tables for collaborative work and investigation, large group meeting areas for Morning Meetings and whole class instruction, and classroom libraries with a variety and range of reading selections. Students have many opportunities to work together and independently, with an array of spaces to meet different work needs. 

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8

Early Childhood

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Our early childhood classrooms have time to browse through and borrow from a large collection of picture books, sometimes on their own and sometimes with a reading buddy from an older class. On opposite sides of the library, you can find the Prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms which are havens for love, learning through inquiry and play, and opportunities to grow socially and emotionally, guided by two teachers for each group of students.

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9

Meeting House

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Quaker values are the heart of everything we do at Frankford Friends School. In keeping with Quaker practice, our community meets to worship together with their fellow teachers and students in our historic Meetinghouse dating from 1833.

Look around ⇢

A Quaker School

Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends and place great value on personal experience, continuing revelation, and asking questions.

Friends value and pursue actions that reflect the spiritual practices of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. They seek out nonviolent solutions to conflicts, help others through service, promote social and economic justice, show kindness in their daily lives, and are guided by the belief that there is an inner light within everyone.

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Students participate in weekly Quakerism classes which focus on conflict resolution, mindfulness and emotional awareness, philosophy, ethics, and decision making, identity and social justice, and spiritual development. All students attend Meeting for Worship with their classmates. When students attend our Meeting for Worship, they take the time to settle and set aside other thoughts and activities, opening their mind to the light within themselves and others.

Our Core Quaker Values

  • We believe that every member of our community can grow and change in order to reach their potential — we call this the inner light.
  • We act courageously in alignment with our core moral beliefs and strive to be socially responsible.
  • We value and embrace the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and religions in our communities.
  • We resolve conflicts through respectful discussion and by listening to each other.
  • We value the challenge of competing ideas, and know that truth is continuously revealed and accessible to the seeker.

History

Throughout its history, Frankford Friends School has remained committed to nurturing the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, both within and beyond the classroom.

The earliest direct predecessor of Frankford Friends School was the one-room “Spring House School,” built by Oxford Meeting in 1768 at the corner of Waln and Spring Streets. At this time, King’s Highway (now Frankford Avenue) was a bustling area, frequently visited by members of the Second Continental Congress, including John Adams, Benjamin Rush, and Thomas Jefferson.

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Frankford Friends School was established on its present site in 1833. In 1868 the Meeting House was enlarged and additional classrooms were built above the horse sheds on the property. Twenty years later, a new brick schoolhouse was built; today it is home to our Lower and Early Childhood classrooms.

Expansion & Growth

In the early aughts, grades seven and eight were added to the school, and the first eighth grade class graduated in 2004. In 2012, the Margaret Passmore Trickey building was built to house the expanded Middle School program.

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The school has continued to grow and in 2016, a half­-acre nature-­based playscape, The Nest, was added to the campus along with The IDEA Lab and administrative offices. In 2017, FFS purchased a former church adjacent to the school, which was renovated to provide space for the Performing Arts and Physical Education programs.

More about FFS

News & updates

School News

View the latest issue of Engage, a magazine to celebrate our ultimate mission: to let our lives speak in the pursuit of lifelong learning, commitment to social justice, and service to our communities.

Newsletter

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