United Friends School is committed to stellar academics within a Quaker framework. Teachers work interactively with children, differentiating instruction based on age, interest, and ability. Peer-teaching and mixed-age groupings allow students to find their inner strengths. Our classroom curricula reflect our commitment to support students in developing a solid base of skills and knowledge, as well as maintaining their creative spirit through discovery and experimentation. We recognize and value different learning styles of children, teaching styles of faculty, and life experiences of all members of the UFS community. Teachers actively participate in the development and revision of each curriculum area in correspondence with state and national standards.
- To nurture the Inner Light in each child by fostering a community in which the spiritual aspect of daily activities is an integral part of the curriculum.
- To foster self-worth and respect for others.
- To provide students with models for non-violent conflict resolution.
- To provide students with a well-rounded experience in a loving atmosphere.
- To foster exploration, self-discipline, creativity, and a desire to learn.
- To offer active learning experiences that will develop the child’s abilities and interests at their own pace and in consideration of their strengths and challenges.
- To help each child develop an awareness and concern for the needs of others, a sense of community, and a spirit of sharing.
- To collaborate with parents and caregivers in guiding the development of their child.
- To utilize, maintain and evaluate our curricula on an ongoing basis.
Mixed Age Groupings
Children learn not only from their teachers but also from one another. The concept of multi-aged, multi-grade classes is certainly not new; however, UFS has redefined the notion, taking many factors into account when determining the composition of a class in any given year. This arrangement allows for some students to remain with the same teacher for two years as a positive educational experience, and sets up natural peer learning opportunities within the classroom due to the mix of ages, abilities, and maturity levels.
Art is fully integrated into the curriculum as an important learning tool. Our K-4 students receive weekly art instruction. Students in grades 4-8 receive twice-weekly instruction by our Artist in Residence, Stacie Spear Scott. Stacie shares her expertise as a mixed media and collage artist who has been a featured artist on the Bucks County Elephant Eye Tour and exhibited around the country. Under Stacie’s instruction, the UFS Art program is based on the elements of art: line, shape, form, color, texture, space and value. Projects, designed around the elements, encourage age-appropriate mastery of techniques, tools, and methods. The primary goal of the art program is to create a playful, exploratory environment, which encourages student expression and personal voice.
Our music teacher brings extensive knowledge of theory and performance, and in turn has developed a multi-faceted program offering children experiences in singing, listening, performing, understanding, and creating music. Music program is held weekly for students in Preschool to 3rd grade. Beginning in 4th grade, music classes are held twice per week to include ensemble. Ensemble students choose from a variety of string and wind instruments.
Music is integrated into many school functions such as weekly Meeting for Worship, Meeting for Announcements, and Monday Music performances in the main lobby. Each school year, UFS students take field trips to attend music events at venues including: Kutztown University, The Philadelphia Orchestra, or the Zoellner Arts Center.
Private music lessons and choral programs are offered in our Extra Curricular Program.
Music classes during COVID: Our lineup of music classes will change slightly to accommodate safety measures, but we are confident we will find just as much musical enjoyment. We will not be able to offer our typical choral and instrumental ensembles this year. Instead, students in grades 4-8 will spend half the year learning ukulele and the other half learning body percussion/bucket drumming. Our general music classes will be full of literature that helps us understand musical concepts and musical traditions from around the world. Students will also have personal music packs with a combination of created and provided instruments in order to explore the nature of rhythm, texture, and composition. We will also be focusing on developing our active listening skills and learning to assess musical excerpts according to their musical components. While we will certainly miss regular singing and group movement activities this year, our music teacher will guide students in exploring more ways to engage musically and connect with each other.
At UFS, the acquisition of the Spanish language is integrated into every class curriculum from preschool through eighth grade. Our Spanish teacher, a native Spanish speaker, brings to her classroom years of teaching experience and instills in her students the excitement of learning another language.
The preschool through fifth grade Spanish curriculum explores the language and culture through a conversational approach. Students practice speaking Spanish using repetition, dialogue, music, games, and role-plays. Students learn about the rich and diverse Hispanic culture through stories, songs, foods, and celebrations.
All sixth through eighth grades build upon their foundation and begin to learn grammatical elements of the Spanish language. They have a more structured program focused on verb conjugations and the proper use of tenses. At this level, students are encouraged to compose and perform at length in Spanish, demonstrating a greater command of the language. In 2012, the middle school traveled to Costa Rica to practice their Spanish speaking skills and learn about the culture.
Preschool & Kindergarten students meet with our native Spanish-speaking teacher weekly; Grades 1-5 meet twice a week; Grades 6-8 meet three times a week.
The Library & ITL programs support the school’s curricula and promote a love of reading and learning. The library curriculum is an extension of the Language Arts curriculum and follows the National Standards for Information Literacy and the Standards for 21st Century Learners. The library curriculum comprises three major areas: literature appreciation, library skills, and research and technology skills.
Technology tools that assist in student achievement, enhances access to information and strengthens communication. Our school’s technology curriculum is integrated within all subjects and is taught and used as needed within context.
The UFS Physical Education program has been carefully developed by Stretch-N-Grow owner, Amy Wall. Preschool children have PE weekly with Stretch-N-Grow coaches, while Elementary and Middle school students meet twice a week.