The Philosophy

Self directed education prioritises the abilities and values that are and will become ever more necessary in the future world of education, economics, and society.  Through living as responsible members of a dynamic, mixed age community with access to resources and caring adults, children naturally practise creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and negotiation.

Our students have initiative and are intrinsically motivated to learn.  They are engaged in activities that have meaning and purpose for them.  They are not led to believe that their interests are not important, or even less important than others.

Our students are in control of their own learning.  They have agency and autonomy and can make choices about matters that affect them.

Our students’ creativity and holistic development are not thwarted by stressful external evaluations and arbitrary testing and they are not compared to, or benchmarked against, others.

Our students learn through play and exploration.  They are deeply involved in the process of imaginative play and having fun and are not restricted by the need to achieve certain outcomes.  As they get older their focus shifts towards developing mastery and looking towards the future.  This is a naturally occurring process,  we do not need to intervene to make it happen.

Staff role-model respectful behaviour and support our students’ self-directed learning, they never judge or use rewards or punishments.  They provide opportunities and spark interest through sharing their own passions and self-directed learning journeys.

“In 50 years, I predict, today’s approach to education will be seen by many if not most educators as a barbaric remnant of the past.  People will wonder why the world took so long to come to grips with such a simple and self-evident idea as that upon which the Sudbury Valley School is founded:  Children educate themselves; we don’t have to do it for them.”  Dr. Peter Gray.

“We can’t make children learn, but we can let them learn.” from The Gardener & The Carpenter, Alison Gopnik

Peter Gray’s “Learning Fundamentals”