Sandy Spring Friends School is a progressive, coeducational, Quaker college preparatory school serving students from preschool through 12th grade with optional boarding programs in the Middle School and Upper School.
In Our Preschool program, play-based learning is woven into the curriculum through fun hands-on activities both in the classroom and outside on our beautiful campus and natural playground. Our exceptional, caring teachers create a welcoming environment for our littlest ones so they can feel safe exploring the world around them while fostering a lifelong love of learning.
Our preschoolers are part of the Lower School community, and our older students frequently interact with our littlest ones. At SSFS, we view our students as active participants in their learning. We seek daily to create an environment in which children can follow their curiosity into experimentation and engagement, applying their energy to full participation in collaborative learning, hands-on activities and opportunities for academic enrichment. Our students learn best when creative thinking, active listening and positive interaction are reinforced in the classroom and at play. By asking questions and seeking answers, each child remains receptive to taking ownership of all aspects of learning. In order to support their growing self-advocacy, we offer a nurturing and responsive approach to instruction.
All children pass through cognitive stages of growth, yet differ in the rates and patterns of that growth. We acknowledge that individual factors such as culture, interests, beliefs and learning styles contribute to these developmental differences and enrich our Lower School student body. At each grade level, we strive to provide time, appropriate challenge, positive experiences and acceptance. While we value the products of learning, we place even greater value on the ongoing process of learning and the development of higher level thinking skills and deeper conceptual understanding. Our hope for students is that they discover, and continue to rediscover, the joy of learning throughout their lives. We believe in the value of establishing a foundation for interdependence, as well as independence, by emphasizing cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control.
In keeping with our Quaker belief of that of God in everyone, we honor the unique gifts within each child. We focus on every student’s academic, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth. By emphasizing the individual strengths of our students, we nurture their sense of self-worth and give them the confidence to take risks within a safe and supportive environment. Lower School students are encouraged to be responsible and responsive listeners and fully present members of a community. Through active listening and interactive modeling, they demonstrate their understanding and readiness to learn. By allowing every person to have a voice and a chance to shine, they recognize that each of their fellow students should be revered for their ideas, experiences and expertise.
Our dedication to celebrating diversity, nurturing awareness, and inspiring compassion among our students sustain our community of global citizens. Through our emphasis on peaceful conflict resolution, community service and a deep commitment to environmental stewardship, our Lower School students become involved and invested in making a positive impact on the world community.
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