1st Grade

Quaker Education

At the root of Quakerism is the idea that every person has a divine Inner Light and is equally deserving of love and respect.  We teach children to ask questions, to reason through answers, and to expect the very best from themselves, their classmates, and their teachers.

As a Quaker school, we believe it is as important to nurture a child’s social and emotional development as it is to promote academic growth. In the first grade we model and teach individual responsibility, independent decision-making, cooperation, respect for others and group rules, and peaceful conflict resolution. These values are reflected in the curricular decisions we make and in our expectations of and interactions with the children. These are life skills that our community believes are important for all children.

We have a foundation based on the Responsive Classroom approach, which holds that the social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.  Children learn best when they have the opportunity to make choices about what they are learning and make their own discoveries through trial and error. At Moses Brown, first graders enjoy a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated experiences.

Knowing the children well helps us guide the growth of their abilities to cooperate, assert themselves, take responsibility, show empathy, and exercise self-control.  By extension, having a strong relationship between the school and every child’s family provides a powerful, consistent team that can support, challenge, and celebrate that child’s successes.

First graders attend weekly Meeting for Worship with lower school, learning to calm their minds and bodies for an age-appropriate period of silent reflection.  At several all-school Meetings for Worship, they demonstrate that they can be as still and silent as the ‘big kids’ (and sometimes even more so).


Faith & Play

Telling Faith & Play stories

In our lower school, Director of Friends Education Galen McNemar Hamann uses Quaker Faith & Play stories as a means to help students better understand Quaker beliefs and history.


Barbara von Salis

Director of Friends Education


Barbara von Salis

Smith College – B.A.
Hunter College – M.A.

Simone Ahlborn

Lower School Spanish


Simone Ahlborn

Universidad de Barcelona
Brown University – A.B.
Georgetown University and California State University – M.A.

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