What is a Quaker School?
While each Friends school has its own unique style and personality, they all have a common purpose: not only to provide a rich and challenging education but also to foster the ideals of community, spirituality, responsibility, and stewardship. A hallmark of the Quaker school experience is the basic beliefs that we are all teachers and learners and that each child has unique gifts and talents. Students are called upon to discover their own voices and interests within the framework of rigorous, college-preparatory academics. The foundation of the educational experience is built upon the ideal that students’ quality of character – what kind of people they are becoming – is as important to their lives and to the world as their intellectual growth and exploration.
Because a Quaker education endeavors to be a socially responsible one, our curricula emphasize service, social action, and experiential learning. Can an education be socially responsible and academically rigorous at the same time? We believe that one is not developed at the expense of the other; instead, they work in tandem to prepare students for college and for life.
How do students learn community, responsibility and stewardship? By living it!
The Quaker belief of the “Inner Light” or that of God in each of us creates an atmosphere of acceptance and openness. Students are led by example not only to respect the perspectives and talents of others in the community, but also to learn from them. Westtown's campus is culturally, religiously, racially and socio-economically diverse and we are deeply enriched by this diversity.
A Quaker education is not limited to campus life, but is enhanced by getting out into the local community for service projects or traveling to far-off places like China or Peru to learn a language or build a school. This focus on preparing students to be citizens of the world is a unique feature of Westtown, and reflects the heart of Quaker principles. Friends schools, and Westtown in particular, have a deep commitment to environmental sustainability and you will find sustainable practices in use in all corners of the campus.