United Friends School is proud to offer a Private Independent Middle School for grades 6-8. The middle school program supports students not only academically, but socially, emotionally, and spiritually. As a Quaker school, our educators use dialogue, reflection, and inquiry to develop meaningful connections to learning in the classroom.
Advisory is our “Morning Meeting”. In addition to preparing for the school day, we use this time to make personal connections and build community. Students practice essential study skills like organization, time management, problem-solving, and self-discipline. We also discuss topics such as current events, social justice, and Quaker topics.
The learning environment is an inquiry-driven environment that fosters group discussion. Middle School students participate in a Quakerism Class where students can learn about the faith tradition that forms our school’s foundation.
Humanities is the study of the human experience and its documentation. The Humanities curriculum fosters the development of themes, essential questions, and reading, writing, and thinking skills. The program integrates the Language Arts and Social Studies curricular areas to help foster the interconnectedness of disciplines in both life and society.
The Language Arts component focuses on writing different types of essays and responses to literature: descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive. Students review writing and communication skills, such as editing, sentence development, and understanding of the correct use of conventions. Students compose pieces by following The Six Traits of Writing. Students read for pleasure and refine their comprehension skills by reading frequently. Learning to read for information and to compare, synthesize, and infer from what they read are skills students refine throughout the year. Students expand their vocabulary by completing lessons in the Wordly Wise and Word Trek programs.
The Social Studies elements center on main pillars such as Economics, Geography, History, Service, Learning/Citizenship, Culture, and Social Justice. The curriculum closely connects Language Arts to Social Studies topics through units of study. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, ancient civilizations, world plagues, immigration, the Progressive Era, the Civil Rights Movement, and our society’s current challenges.
Throughout the year, students discuss and analyze local, national, and international current events. Resources include web-based resources such as primary and secondary documents such as documentaries, podcasts, films, museum trips/resources, personal testimony, etc.
The goal of Humanities is to create knowledgeable, informed, globally and locally connected students who have a sense of responsibility and power in upholding and applying the Quaker testimonies in the world.
Students are exposed to different problem-solving strategies in an environment where group collaboration and communication regarding mathematics are strongly fostered. Students have competed in the regional MathCounts competition as well as the Stock Market Challenge hosted by the PA Council on Financial Literacy. Our students take away a balance of rigor and explorative curiosity about math that stays with them into high school and beyond.
Middle school science at UFS emphasizes science education through a combination of traditional academic methods, school-wide projects, applications of science in the modern world, and especially hands-on activities.
The science curriculum aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and deeply familiarizes students with creating a scientific argument, identifying quality evidence, and supporting a scientific claim. Our goal is for UFS students to have a deep curiosity about the natural world that is instilled from firsthand experience with the wonders of science and nature.
By the end of our student’s academic endeavor in Middle School, we are proud to send them forward as reflective, responsible, and inquisitive thinkers to the finest institutions. Our engaging and holistic approach to learning provides a strong foundation that our graduates and other alumni use throughout their school experiences.
Approximately one-third of our graduates transition to area Independent high schools.