A familiar tenet of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is that “there is that of God in everyone.” That core belief—resulting in respect for all members of the community—is at the heart of an NFS education.
Newtown Friends School is run according to Quaker practices and is guided by Quaker values, though no doctrine is espoused. At NFS, we understand that each person—adult and child alike—can find and express the truth through reflection and inquiry. Among the key Quaker-influenced aspects of an NFS education are:
- The creative and nonviolent resolution of conflict.
- The prevalence of silence—including but not limited to weekly Meeting for Worship—as a means of listening to the inner light or truth.
- Decision making that does not rely on simple majority but instead gives weight to the insights of all participants and strives to reach agreement in a spirit of cooperation.
- The fostering of respect, concern, and responsibility for the well-being of self and others, leading to a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity in all its guises, a broader view of the world, and a commitment to service.
Quaker values, referred to as “testimonies” and known by the acronym SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship), are woven throughout the curriculum.
At present, 12% of the student body and 10% of the faculty are members of the Religious Society of Friends; additional families attend local Meetings on at least an occasional basis. All other major religions are represented and embraced, and the sharing of traditions occurs regularly and intentionally.