Why choose an independent school for your child? Why choose a Quaker school for your child? What are the benefits of a Quaker elementary (preschool through fifth grade) school?Why choose Goshen Friends School for your child?
Why choose an independent school for your child?
Freedom and flexibility. In independent schools, teachers are given the opportunity and freedom to be flexible in the “whats and hows” of teaching. Every teacher can choose the curriculum and the method of instruction, which evokes creativity in every child and gives each boy or girl the avenue to address academic strengths and weaknesses. It also brings out continual energy and inventiveness in each school’s faculty. Nothing gets stale.Small class sizes. With small class sizes (Goshen Friends has a teacher to student ratio of 1:10), students can easily and openly find their academic, moral, emotional, and spiritual voices. Every child is both valued and validated.Community. Independent schools have a strong and stable sense of community. A bond occurs among all constituents - faculty, students, administrators, alumni, and trustees. Parent-teacher connection. The parent/teacher relationship is clear and strong. Teachers and parents work closely together to help bring present and future success to each student. Independent school teachers are passionate and talented and are committed to finding and celebrating each child’s strengths.Mission. Independent schools have a focused mission. Every school’s mission statement is unique, and each school is devoted to knowing and loving each child and making certain each student is successful.Values. Without hesitation or reservation, the teaching and learning of essential and important values are part of the school curriculum of each school day.
Why choose a Quaker school for your child?
Quakers have been committed to education since their arrival in the “New World." In the late 1600s, Philadelphia Quakers established the first Friends schools, many of which still educate children today. Early Quakers believed that spiritual, social, and intellectual growth are closely linked, and this belief remains a basic tenet of modern Quaker education. Friends have always stressed the importance of an education that supports the overall development of the child. For over 300 years, students of Quaker schools have had extraordinary educational experiences based upon these simple, timeless ideas.
A recent Goshen Friends School graduate was given a creative writing assignment while in middle school. She was asked to answer this question: “Where do you come from?” These are her words:
Like our students, Quakerism is dynamic - a historically rich philosophy that translates seamlessly to modern realities and the acquisition of indispensible twenty-first-century skills. To learn more details about Quaker schools, visit the Friends Council on Education, a Philadelphia-based organization that supports Quaker schools locally and globally through professional development and resource sharing.
What are the benefits of a Quaker elementary (preschool through fifth grade) school?
Independent elementary schools provide an essential academic setting where educators strive to lay a solid base for twenty-first-century learning. Add Quakerism to the mix, and the result is a wonderfully unique educational experience that approaches each learner hopefully, with both respect and enthusiasm. What do these distinctive schools offer to learners?
Confidence. Graduates of Quaker elementary schools know themselves and are able to recognize the strengths of peers. Because they are effective communicators and creative problem solvers at an early age, fifth graders approach transitions with self-belief. They are not only prepared for a middle school setting but are also “ready” in every sense.
Compassion and inclusivity. At an early age, children learn to celebrate differences rather than rely on stereotypes and to empathize with the challenges of others.
Leadership. Opportunities to lead are abundant, and students are encouraged to take these opportunities. The effective ability to lead, if not learned at an early age, is a skill that is more difficult to gain. By the time the students reach fifth grade, their leadership skills are strong. Capable leadership is an indispensible skill when entering middle school.
Spirituality. Weekly Meeting for Worship is a time for students to reflect quietly. This time within oneself allows children to discover the power they have over their own bodies and the deepness of their thoughts. The ability to reflect is an important skill that enhances learning, relationships, and self-reliance.
Community. Quaker elementary schools instill a strong sense of unity in students, staff, parents, and friends of the school. Community is experienced in the small academic setting, and that strong sense is then translated to a global understanding of kinship and mutual responsibility.
In every institution, educators are faced with preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s challenges. The academic world now focuses on a twenty-first-century skill set that includes creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, and communications and collaboration. (To learn more, see 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn, by James Bellanca & Ron Brandt; Leading Edge.) Although newly identified as what is needed for future global success, these skills have been the focus and result of Quaker elementary education for 300 years.
Why choose Goshen Friends School for your child?
Celebrating childhood. With our children experiencing recess each day (two times in Lower School), we bring joy to childhood. While we lay a strong academic foundation for our pupils, we do so by making learning fun, experiential, and appropriate. Children are allowed to be children, and they are able to take the sometimes difficult journey of childhood in an environment of safety, inclusivity, and support.Comfort and commitment. With our small class sizes, we know one another. All of our teachers and staff members are integral parts of our students’ education, and every student is loved and supported by all. Committed teachers, staff, administrators, and parents work together to bring happiness and accomplishment to every child.Preparation. From mindful beginnings come global perspectives. In teaching our students to see goodness in everyone, we prepare them for the world outside of Goshen – to be caring, compassionate, involved, invested, curious, problem-solving citizens of this earth.Tradition. Our embedded tradition grounds both students and our community. Back to School nights, the Harvest Fair, the Coffeehouse, holiday and spring concerts, the Clothesline Arts Festival, Celebration of Friends Days, and many other annual celebrations and events create a feeling of stability, connection, and joy in our community.Quaker values. We are a Quaker school, and our belief in peace, integrity, compassion, simplicity, community, equality, and stewardship rings loudly each school day. These values are not taught in isolation – they are woven into the fabric of Goshen Friends School.
Graduates of Quaker elementary schools know themselves and are able to recognize the strengths of peers. Because they are effective communicators and creative problem solvers at an early age, the fifth graders approach transitions with self-assurance. They are not only prepared for a middle school setting; they are “ready” in every sense.