Our middle school (5th-8th grades with a 5th/6th grade pairing and a 7th/8th grade pairing) continues to implement the school’s philosophy of educating the whole child in keeping with Quaker principles and practice. As our middle school students begin to seek independence, our curricula and community adapts to support them academically, emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually. We achieve this by fostering an environment conducive to creativity, exploration, and personal growth. By the end of our students’ UFS academic endeavor, we are proud to send them forward as independent inquisitive thinkers to the finest institutions.
5th-8th grades: Monday-Friday 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m. Parents and caregivers may drop off children beginning at 7:45 a.m.
Since our founding in 1983, UFS has been providing its students with an excellent education by making each day an inspiring learning experience guided by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and service. UFS is committed to continuing that legacy of rigorous education. At the same time, however, we recognize that our approach must be transformed to prepare students for college, careers and civic engagement in the 21st century.
Tony Wagner from the Harvard Graduate School of Education has defined seven survival skills students need for success in the 21st century in his book, “The Global Achievement Gap.” These skills include:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability
- Initiative and entrepreneurship
- Effective oral and written communication
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Curiosity and imagination
7 Facts About the UFS STEAM Program
- STEAM represents the addition of arts education to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. It is a melding of logic-driven and creative skills, helping children learn how to brainstorm, problem solve, collaborate, contribute and communicate new ideas.
- Focusing initially on middle school students, our innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary program will combine the logic-driven skills of science and mathematics with the creative skills of the arts to encourage students to become both analytical and creative thinkers. State-of-the-art technology will enhance students’ ability to learn cooperatively and act globally.
- The United Friends School STEAM program inspires and prepares middle school students to become creative and analytical thinkers and apply their skills toward social action.
- Aligned with our Quaker testimonies, our STEAM program develops 21st century skills for all involved and provides opportunities for children to deeply explore and address real world issues in which they are invested and authentically concerned so they can make a positive difference in our world.
- The initial phase of our STEAM Program will unfold over three years, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, and will be fully operational by the conclusion of the 2014-2015 school year.
- Each year, UFS middle school students will focus on a current environmental and/or social issue. Students will be challenged to think both logically and creatively, using scientific methods, mathematical concepts and creative expression. Their investigation will culminate in a creative project, to be shared with UFS students, staff, parents, and caregivers, as well as the broader community, to stimulate thought and action. In this way, the UFS STEAM Program will give middle school students the opportunity to “shine their light” and assist with addressing real world issues.
- UFS is confident in its ability to guide students to produce projects of this caliber. Recently, the UFS middle school students involved the whole school in conducting a multi-year study of the Licking Run Creek that runs through Quakertown Memorial Park. When the results of the study were culled, the students were inspired to protect the creek and proposed an ordinance to Quakertown Borough that ultimately passed with full support. As a result, Quakertown creek is a healthier environment today, and UFS students were awarded the Heritage Conservancy Youth Conservation Award for their work.