Our faculty knows each student deeply and understands them for who they are — not just as a student in the class, but as an individual with interest and passions. Teachers at FFS have a unique way of welcoming students’ personalities and backgrounds into the classroom, showing them mutual respect and creating community.
Retreats, hikes, all-school outdoor expeditions, and farm trips provide opportunities to explore together as a community, recharge, and fall in love with nature. On campus, some of the best learning happens through play with water, dirt, and natural materials, and through climbing, crawling, running, jumping, and participating in physical activities at The Nest.
The Nest is our award-winning, half-acre green space on campus. The space includes three rain and pollinator gardens, mud kitchens, spaces for dirt digging and building, and a waterworks. Students are able to build their gross motor skills by climbing on locally-sourced tree trunks, rocks and boulders, and a climber, and playing on an open field.
The kindergarteners at Frankford Friends School raise chickens as a means to learn about stewardship, genetic characteristics, sustainability, life cycles, collaboration, and responsibility. They collect and track the number of eggs laid daily, feed the chickens grain and water, keep their space clean, and let them out of their coop for daily exercise.
Our Extended Day Program is a great way for students in grades Pre-K to 8 to be cared for after school in a safe, nurturing environment. On days when school is closed for parent conferences or teacher in-service days, students can come to school for a day filled with fun at Otter Camp.
Through various partnerships in Frankford and beyond, our students conduct research projects to dig into the root causes of each issue and develop an appreciation for the value of the service work. These partnerships and service opportunities give our students the opportunity to connect their understanding of complex problems in their environment with tangible and constructive ideas to counteract them. Our students develop empathy, a commitment to serving their local communities, and gain confidence in their own ability to create change.
Middle school students volunteer at FAWN to assist patrons with getting food, help run workshops, and to facilitate partnerships between FAWN and local stores.
Fourth graders partner with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission to explore ways to improve not just the aesthetics of Frankford, but the functionality, sustainability, and equity of our neighborhood. The project culminates in the building of Box City, a scale-model of Frankford, complete with student-constructed sustainable development additions to the neighborhood, like solar-powered public bikes and a redesigned El platform for the benefit of the whole Frankford community.
Our fifth Grade students welcomed UArts students, who came to FFS to harvest plantings from our dye garden. After harvesting, our students traveled by the El to the university for a natural dye and shibori workshop. The project culminated in a final art show with the university’s president.
FFS partners with the Frankford CDC to work on projects around our neighborhood of Frankford. One of our most recent projects was the beautifying of Pause Park.
Eighth graders partner with the Philadelphia Water company and TTF to study the problems that plague our watershed. Pre-K students team up with the Philadelphia water company to place storm drain markers on the neighborhood’s drains to help protect the city's waterways from pollution.
Not only do our students see what action looks like, but they come to understand the connection between learning in the classroom and the local services and initiatives within the Greater Philadelphia area. We want them to know that every action taken can build a better future for life on Earth.
If you are connected to an organization who would be a fit for our service learning or project based learning programs, please let us know!
Coordinator of Project-based Learning & The IDEA Lab
Quakers have long known the benefits of reflection and sitting in silence in order to access what George Fox called “the still, small voice.” In addition to its spiritual benefits, the mindful and reflective nature of Meeting for Worship improves attention, helps us regulate our emotions, and reduces stress in students and classrooms. Making space for these mindful moments allows students and teachers to take a break from the bustle of the classroom and to bring attention to the present moment.
Meeting begins in silence, so that we may settle, practice reflection and make room for the Inner Light to guide us. Learning to be centered in silence provides an opportunity to shift our focus from doing and thinking, to being. During worship, a community member may feel moved to speak, to raise an idea, or share an inspiration. Following a spoken message, all return to silence to reflect on that message and to greet it with compassion and non-judgmental awareness. The meeting ends when the elders initiate a handshake. Our fourth and eighth graders serve as the elders of our lower school and middle school meetings.
Parents and community members are welcome to join us for worship. Please contact Liz Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Our students chose the river otter to represent their school since river otters possess many of the wonderful characteristics that also describe our students. Otters are excellent communicators and have amazing intelligence and skill. They love to explore and they use play as a way to strengthen social bonds. We love their commitment to community and how they find joy in living and learning.
Each year, FFS students and teachers join together in multi-age groups to celebrate community. Everyone participates in team-building activities, community games, and service to the neighborhood. There is also time to worship together, share a meal, and support each other as we reflect on the Quaker values and beliefs that are so important to us.
More than 100 grandfriends arrive on the Frankford Friends School campus each fall, to see where their grandchildren learn, explore, play, and reflect. Students introduce their grandfriends to their teachers, show them their classrooms, sit with them during Meeting for Worship, and work together on projects across the curriculum.
Each fall, the FFS Parent Association sponsors an annual school fair for community members, new and old. Families gather together for food and fun that includes carnival-style games, challenges, art activities, and musical cakes.
Every spring we celebrate the end of the school year at River Otter Field Day in which all students play outdoor games at various stations throughout our campus in mixed-age groups. It's a day of celebration and togetherness as a whole school. The day culminates with a competitive game featuring eighth graders vs. faculty.
Families, friends, students and staff celebrate our eighth graders at a final meeting for worship. During this time we reflect on each student’s time at FFS and wish them luck as they join the ranks of Frankford Friends alumni.