Living our Quaker Testimonies
Friends Schools place a priority on teaching the values felt necessary for leading a life of service in the community. We seek to encourage our children to explore their individuality and their responsibility as school community members in the framework of a person of faith. Friends School staff seek to permeate the whole of our school life in each classroom with these values. The school staff seek to reward those who enhance the life of our school community and to encourage better behavior from those whose actions or words are unacceptable to us.
Allied to the Ethics Program is the Community Service Program which aims at helping students to develop a strong sense of affiliation to their community. As a child progresses through each school campus, he or she is encouraged to learn from and support those who are less fortunate than themselves and to expect to play a part in service to the community. The International Baccalaureate program includes this element as a necessary component for the successful completion of the Certificate or Diploma.
We also hold Silent Meeting throughout the school program as an important part of a Friends School experience. These periods of quiet are given to remind us all of the presence of God in our lives and in the community. They provide a little time to learn to lay aside the business of our lives and relationships and be still.
Our Meeting for Learning program each fortnight is designed to provide an opportunity for students to share in the celebration of the life of the school and the gifts that students bring to life in the School community. It may also be used to manage or reflect upon events which affect our lives together. The program may from time to time re-inforce the history of our school and our land, hear directly from our graduates about their successes and failures, learn something of our Quaker culture and tradition and reflect any aspect of our life and times together which is best heard as a gathered community. Friends School makes every effort to make these occasions special and memorable.
What follows is a statement of our school Quaker Testimonies and their implications:
Friends believe that the most important things in life aren’t things.
To live simply is not to buy what we do not need or cannot afford. This challenge is based on the principle of leading a life free of ostentation and unnecessary luxury.
Friends believe that there is always a path that brings peace, justice, dignity and respect.
To acknowledge in our lives those emotions, attitudes and prejudices which lie at the roots of destructive conflict. To faithfully maintain our witness that war and the seeds of war are inconsistent with our understanding of the love of God. We should stand firm in this testimony even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence. We should acknowledge that those who do prepare for or commit acts of violence are also children of God.
Friends believe that our words and actions must reflect our truest selves.
Friends believe that we need each other, since each and every one of us is precious to our community.
Friends believe that every person is equally beloved by God, no matter what.
To behave towards others as we would expect others to behave towards us. This testimony has within it no discrimination between gender, race, economic class or social position.
Friends believe that all God’s gifts are entrusted to us for the sake of future generations.