Quaker Values at Friends’ School
Friends’ School is a Quaker School. Quakers believe that there is that of God in every person and this belief impacts on the way we approach the education of our pupils. These beliefs mean that:
- Those of us involved in education approach every learner hopefully, believing that each individual’s educational needs should be recognised and equal value given to them.
- We believe in ‘immense potentialities’, and that the purpose of education is to help individuals to believe in these in themselves.
- We believe that learning is a lifelong experience and is part of living rather than a preparation for it.
- We respect each individual and value the contribution that each has to make to the learning process.
- We treat individuals as equal, whatever their gender, race, culture, class ability, sexual orientation or circumstances. It means that we actively reject, and work to eliminate, discrimination of any sort.
- We believe that learning happens most creatively when relationships are based on mutual respect.
- We wish to adopt methods of discipline based on trust and mutual support, seeking to promote the positive.
- We encourage individual responsibility to the group and the group’s responsibility for each individual.
- We seek to avoid hierarchies of power and to encourage a participating community.
- We want to empower learners to challenge injustice and to develop the imagination to find alternatives, to build compassionately a community which is inclusive of those who may be disadvantaged or rejected.
- We encourage questioning and exploration, honesty and openness.
- We seek to nurture and value spiritual growth and to open windows into new worlds of creativity and imagination.
- We seek creative ways to go forward, particularly in situations that involve or might lead to conflict.
- We stress achievements and successes, bearing in mind that excessive use of competition may be destructive.
- ‘Teachers’ recognise that they are learners too and strive to be good listeners.
- We try to live out our vocation ‘adventurously’.
- We value simplicity, pursuing the things which bring true fulfilment and seeking to find and communicate a right relationship with the material world.
- We try to keep before ourselves and others the ideal of unqualified and unlimited love.
The Quaker ethos is demonstrated in the school in the following practical ways:
Meeting for Worship and Silence in the School Day
Meeting for Worship lies at the heart of the core values of Friends’ School. We gather in silence to seek a deeper understanding of the spirituality of our lives and to feel the power of God’s love drawing us together and leading us to find direction in our lives.
Meeting for Worship makes Quaker education distinct and encourages respect for the individual, the habit of self reflection, vulnerability and openness to each other, the experience of silence, the ability to listen, the transformation of tension and the courage to stand up and speak.
We believe that children learn best in a school environment that fosters their spiritual growth. Through silent worship, we affirm the goodness in each person. The experience builds confidence and self-esteem which helps children learn more successfully in all areas.
There is a short period of silent worship for all pupils in the school as part of our morning assemblies.
Sunday Evening Meeting
On Sunday evenings there is an Evening Meeting which all boarders are expected to attend and which usually lasts about 30 minutes.
We consider that this occasion offers an opportunity for a quiet time of reflection, meditation and preparation for the week ahead in a spirit of worship, and it strengthens the sense of community.