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Upper School

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Upper School students gather around beehives

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Our Program

English

The Haverford English department offers engaging opportunities to develop skills of critical reading, writing, and oration. The program demonstrates a tradition of excellence, with students frequently receiving honors and awards at both the local and national level. Award-winning student publications, including the student newspaper The Index and the literary magazine Pegasus, welcome new contributors. At the Edward R. Hallowell Literary Lecture, students meet and learn from their literary heroes.

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Students surround the World Trade Center memorial in NYC
History

Haverford boys study the past to understand the present and anticipate the future. They explore their interests, walking in the shoes of museum curators, Supreme Court judges, and ambassadors. They study the world and then go in-depth in their analysis of United States history. At the Davis R. Parker Memorial History Lecture, they meet top historians expanding our understanding of historical events. Occasionally, they share their learning as guest lecturers engaging students in the Lower and Middle School divisions. 

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Three students gather at the white board, solving equations
Mathematics

Engaging courses such as statistics, economics, finance, Advanced Topics in Mathematics, and programming emphasize practical and applied mathematics. Students enjoy many opportunities to test their skills, competing with peers in Math Club or individually on the American Math Contest exam. 

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Students in togas perform for peers
Modern and Classical Languages

The Haverford School offers three languages to our Upper School students: Latin, Spanish, and Chinese. We craft authentic experiences for cross-cultural engagement, immersing students in the language of their choice. These experiences lead to excellence, with students receiving recognition from the Montgomery County Association of Foreign Language, the Philadelphia Classical Society, and The American Association of the Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. 

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Students play instruments at the winter concert
Performing Arts

The performing arts at Haverford build confidence. They create opportunities for collaboration—involving students' peers from both Haverford and our sisters schools. Young musicians learn dedication through practice and performance. 

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Science

Our science curriculum fully embraces the wonder of scientific discovery, while building ethical decision-making skills and a sense of global citizenship. Engaging and relevant electives, leading research equipment, and exciting partnerships combine for a dynamic science curriculum. At the William Edward Gwinn '86 Memorial Lecture, Haverford students enjoy the opportunity to meet and engage with leaders in various fields of scientific research. 

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Students spray paint a mural
Visual Arts

The Haverford School offers multiples outlets for the visual arts, including woodworking, ceramics, digital design, and the fine arts. Through indulging and expanding their creativity, students practice self expression. The visual arts teach students how to give and receive helpful criticism.

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Curriculum

English

Students perform Hamlet

All students take a year-long English course every year, alongside others in their same Form. In their final semester, students select an elective to complete their English requirement.

History

Upper School history students laugh with laptops open

All students complete three year-long survey courses: Ancient World History, Modern World History, and United States History. These courses prepare students for their choice of history elective.

Mathematics

A student smiles while writing in a notebook

All students complete three years of mathematics. Most students take four years of math and many choose to add a math elective.

 

 

Modern and Classical Languages

Upper School teacher writes on the board in Spanish

All students complete at least two years of study in one (or, in some cases, two) of three language offerings: Chinese, Latin, or Spanish. 

Music

Notables sing at the Golden Fords luncheon

The Upper School expands the opportunities for music making with courses on everything from the production of music and music theory to songwriting and guitar.

Science

A controlled explosion in an Upper School chemistry class

All students complete three years of core laboratory science in physics, chemistry, and biology. These courses build skills sequentially, preparing students for college and career-focused electives.

Theater

Upper School Students perform in Something Rotten!

In three courses, Haverford students experience every aspect of theater, from learning acting technique and engaging in stage combat to forming a theater company and producing a play.

Visual Arts

Two students construct 3-D models

After taking the Visual Art: Foundations course, students have their choice of ceramics, woodworking, 2D and 3D art, and digital art courses. 

Day in the Life

Form VI students walk alongside kindergarten students

At the start of each school year, Form VI students lead partners in the kindergarten class through the Walk of Virtues, a pathway inscribed with the School's core virtues, to set the tone for the new school year. 

Upper School student Nasir describes how the School's core virtues are forming the man he will become. 

Haverford performing arts department chair Darren Hengst led students from Haverford, Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Shipley, Merion Mercy, and Notre Dame in a virtual performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Meet the Head of the Upper School

Mr. Mark Fifer

Mark Fifer

Mark Fifer joined The Haverford School in 2004 as a faculty member in the history department and coach in the basketball and baseball programs. Prior to becoming Head of Upper School, Fifer served as Upper School Dean of Students. He earned an M.S.Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and since 2015 has served as a university assignment mentor in the program.

Inclusion in a supportive community grounds our boys, giving them the confidence to not only explore and create, but also encouraging them to consider their community “footprint”—the ways in which their words and actions impact others.

Program Spotlight

91% of the class of 2022 were admitted to their top 3 college choices
54 unique elective offerings
98% of families choose Haverford year after year
17% National Merit Scholars