From 1897 to the present day, there are so many ways we come together to celebrate each other.
Every Waynflete academic year begins with Convocation, a ceremonial marking of the start of an exciting new season of growth, change, and connection. The entire community gathers in the Sanctuary for opening remarks from Head of School Geoff Wagg, musical performances, and art installations introducing the learning themes for the semesters ahead. At the close of Convocation, youngest Waynflete student sounds the gong that tells everyone it is time to go forward, together—and enjoy many more of the traditions below.
Early Childhood Traditions
The Buddy Program
When you are in preschool, even a second grader seems really big. To build community and create bonds across the Lower School, Waynflete pairs each Early Childhood student with their own “Buddy” in a higher grade. Buddies meet regularly to read books, make crafts, play games, and answer questions about what being a Big Kid is really like.
Friends of Founders
Waynflete Upper School students are frequent classroom visitors, sharing their own learning and expertise in connection with Early Childhood studies. Stories of world travels, cello solos, printmaking demonstrations, and showing off soccer skills are some of the ways older students captivate and connect with our youngest learners.
A beloved Waynflete Lower School tradition, weekly Pachanga gathers the entire Lower School community together for group singing and sharing. Early Childhood students regularly perform their own musical compositions at Pachanga, teaching everyone how to sing along—and twice each year, families are invited to come and share the fun.
Lower School Traditions
The Buddy Program
To build community and create bonds across the Lower School, Waynflete pairs younger students with their own “Buddy” in a higher grade. Buddies meet regularly to read books, make crafts, and play games together —and look out for each other—throughout the year.
Friends of Founders
Waynflete Upper School students are frequent classroom visitors, sharing their own learning and expertise in connection with Lower School studies. Stories of world travels, cello solos, printmaking demonstrations, and showing off soccer skills are some of the ways older students captivate and connect with our youngest learners.
A beloved Waynflete tradition, weekly Pachanga gathers the entire Lower School community together for group singing and sharing. Twice each year, families are invited to come and share the fun.
Bounce houses and book fairs, carnival games and student concerts, sugared lemons and popcorn—the annual Spring Fling is a Waynflete tradition that brings everyone out to play after a long winter.
Fifth Grade Graduation
A celebration more than a ceremony, Fifth Grade Graduation acknowledges the wonderful and unique contributions each graduate has made to our community. Younger classmates compose poems and tributes, teachers share slide shows and sweet memories, and Grade 4 students create “a tunnel of flowers” for Grade 5 to walk through on their way to Middle School.
Middle School Traditions
Scavenger hunts across the West End. Food trucks and ice cream trucks on campus. Hangouts with family at the beach, on the Eastern Prom, or hiking up Bradbury Mountain. Middle School kids naturally gather in groups large and small and we make sure they have time to have fun together.
School dances are relaxed, casual group get-togethers that let our students share their favorite songs, show off a favorite outfit or TikTok move, and load up at the snack table. (Seriously, the snacks are everyone’s favorite part.) This low-stress introduction to more formal school socializing is a fun evening for everyone.
Once each week, students gather in small groups for a seminar focused on how the brain affects emotions and practice active listening, managing their feelings, and cultivating empathy through curiosity. In Grade 7, students work on forging positive connections and social belonging and in Grade 8, they practice positive leadership.
Upper School Traditions
Upper School students begin each school year with our signature four-day experiential learning program, Outdoor Experience. Students spend the week in small groups on either a Maine wilderness expedition or an urban service project. Whether they summit a pristine mountain peak or pitch in at a local community garden or soup kitchen, they learn so much about each other and themselves.
A supportive and stress-free way to share original creative work (and work-in-progress), Waynflete Coffeehouses are fun student forums for poetry and fiction readings, musical performance, dance and choreography, and more. Students enjoy the chance to share their passion projects outside the classroom with a friendly and appreciative audience.
Dances, Socials, and Prom
The traditional milestones of the high school years are just as magical at Waynflete. Dances, socials, movie nights, activity nights, and Waynflete Prom are attended and enjoyed by couples and friend groups alike throughout the school year.
Upper School Assembly
Weekly assemblies bring the entire Upper School together for announcements, skits and games, community-building activities, and the celebration of student accomplishments. Whether they are applauding the lacrosse team or the Science Olympiad team before a championship, the cheering (and the community spirit) is loud, energetic, and completely sincere.
A schoolwide celebration of Waynflete school spirit, Spirit Week sparks friendly interclass competition, crazy dress days, games and contests, and more to show the fun and energy of being a Waynflete Flyer.
Friends of Founders
Waynflete Upper School students are frequent classroom visitors to lower grades, sharing their own learning and expertise to support Early Childhood and Lower School studies. Stories of world travels, cello solos, printmaking demonstrations, and showing off soccer skills are some of the ways Upper School students captivate and connect with our youngest learners.
Waynflete seniors spend the last month of their studies on their Senior Project: a self-directed endeavor expressing passion, creativity, and skill. Seniors present completed projects prior to commencement and the depth and diversity of the work showcases the incredible talent in each graduating class. A cookbook that combines culinary expertise and cultural influences with photography and design. The engineering and construction of a full-size working trebouchet. Whatever form it takes, the senior project is always a formative experience.
Waynflete Senior Dinner, a gathering of graduating seniors and Waynflete faculty, gives teachers and coaches one last chance to share their treasured memories and deep affection for every single graduating student. Just before each graduate steps out into the world, their academic advisor stands up to share their Senior Minute: a deeply felt and well-observed celebration of that student’s unique gifts that shows just how well that student has been seen and treasured during their time at Waynflete.
Commencement is our community’s opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments and limitless potential of the graduating class. Traditionally held at Merrill Auditorium, Commencement includes a keynote speaker chosen by the senior class; a reading from the student Poet Laureate; moving musical performances; and a walk across the stage that will start the next great chapter in students’ lives.
Commencement begins a new tradition—caring participation in the world.
Every Waynflete graduate goes forward knowing they were cared for, challenged, and cheered on during the most formative time in their lives.
The location of Waynflete Commencement has moved over time as the school has grown or world events have complicated social gatherings. But whether they are looking out over Merrill Auditorium or over the Fore River at Thompson’s Point, every graduate onstage is looking forward to a bright future—and holding fast to the lifelong friendships and mentorships they made at Waynflete.
One of Waynflete’s most enduring traditions is to keep each other close. Group chats and social media feeds. Late-night phone calls from dorm rooms, new jobs, trips abroad. Wedding ceremonies and baby showers. All-School Reunion. The moments we share and the memories we make here last lifetimes.