The SSFS Kindergarten class embarked on a study of "ramps and pathways," which introduced engineering and design concepts to one of the most popular play spaces in the classroom— the block area!
QRA—our student-centered approach—encourages students to question concepts and ideas, reflect upon inquiry and experience, and put learning into action.
Sandy Spring Friends School is an exceptional school seeking to prepare students for life and further education. At SSFS, knowing why we learn, and how we learn, are just as important as what we learn. Our educational program is grounded in a deep respect for individual students and intellectual rigor. The School's teachers help students internalize a process we call "QRA"—Question, Reflection, Action—which ensures that they think critically, integrate new knowledge, and apply what they learn. We help students develop their individual sense of purpose as they become caring citizens of the world.
Reflection: Academics at SSFS
Read more about SSFS' educational philosophy by reading David's posts on the 7 characteristics.
- Close, cooperative relationships between teachers and students are the firmest foundation for effective learning.
- A Sandy Spring Friends education is rigorous.
- Students learn best when they are acknowledged and included in the classroom.
- Sandy Spring Friends students interact with the natural world as a part of their learning environment.
- SSFS seeks to provide students a global perspective.
- Classroom learning must be authenticated by real-world experience.
- The School’s motto, “Let Your Lives Speak,” represents the Quaker belief that how we live our lives is the most direct indicator what we believe.
Students are expected to move beyond just memorizing facts to “higher order thinking skills” to analyze, interpret, synthesize, and create. For this reason, multiple-choice tests are uncommon at SSFS. Working within an above-grade-level curriculum, students become skilled at prioritizing and managing academic challenges as they progress from pre-kindergarten to high school graduation.
The School’s programs are grounded in an ethical framework of the six Quaker “SPICES:” simplicity, peaceful resolution of conflict, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. These guiding values are infused through all areas of study and community life. Students of all ages participate in silent worship/reflection as they explore and develop their own moral compass.
Each year, our Algebra I students put their math and engineering skills to the test to create an exclusive bungee jumping company that has one VIP client—a Barbie.
In the fall, 5th graders were asked to engage in a Math Trail around campus. By taking 5th graders outside—taking them away from pencils and workbooks—our teachers helped students see math as it applies to everyday life and gain a new appreciation for it.
Each fall, Middle School Integrated Geometry students must collaborate, measure, and strategically use technology to create a diagram for the annual all-school Community Day photo.
After reading research about the benefits of taking notes by hand, our seventh-grade science students decided to challenge the research and conduct an experiment in their classroom to support or refute these conclusions.
Introduction To Engineering students explored mechanisms that convert gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy by designing and building trebuchets to launch tennis balls within a range of 20 meters. Read about their process
Did you ever find an empty box and imagine what else it could be? In Lower School, we have explored this idea as an expression of our understanding of the engineering design process (ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve) in conjunction with introduced science concepts.