Introducing Our School


Okinawa Sudbury School is a Sudbury-model school located in Ginowan-city on the island of Okinawa in the south-west of Japan, in a residential house with a large garden. School opening is from nine until five, Monday through Friday. We take students aged 6-19 and operate as a democratic community via the School Meeting.


What is a Sudbury School?


A Sudbury school is a school modelled on the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts, USA. It is a democratically-run community of students and staff where there is no set curriculum nor any structured teaching beyond that which the students request. Instead, the students are free to spend each day as they choose, which in practice means a great deal of free play that gradually becomes more structured as the students move into their teenage years. Thus, rather than learning from a prescribed curriculum, the students learn as a by-product of their daily activities. The experience of Sudbury Valley School and similar learning environments shows that this provides a sufficiently wide variety of experience and learning to enable a person to take a meaningful and rewarding place in adult society.


The Sudbury Philosophy


The key points of the Sudbury philosophy are:

1. Trusting children to take control of their own lives – we believe that children are capable of making their own intelligent and informed decisions, and thus do not need to be coerced or controlled.

2. Democratic rule – all aspects of the internal running of the school are decided by the School Meeting, in which each member has one vote.

3. No prescribed curriculum and no testing – we believe that children learn best through their own curiosity and natural learning instincts, and we trust children to assess themselves and their own learning.

4. Free age mixing – we believe that children learn not just from their same-age peers or adults but also from children older and younger than themselves. From this they also learn tolerance and respect for differences, both in others and in themselves.

5. Freedom and responsibility – children learn to take responsibility for themselves and their actions through learning to respect the freedom of others.


Introducing the Staff


Okinawa Sudbury School currently has five staff members.


Simon is from England and has lived in Japan since 1997. He has worked extensively in education in Japan and England, and believes that Sudbury-model education provides the best start in life for young people. In his free time he enjoys going to the ocean with his family, and he has recently started learning to play the ukulele. You can find him online at www.robinsonsaimon .

Mr D.

@aasomrd Former “big in Japan” #EdTech rockstar originally from the U.S., Mr. D. has a passion for supporting both children and adults in democratic learning environments who are into hanging out, messing around, and geeking out with all kinds of technology. ❤️ 「海邦養秀」, D.I.T. (“Do It Together”), makerspaces, critical theory, gaming, D&D, MTG, and experimental music. Program or be programmed. Play or get played. Make and believe.


Aska is from Kyoto and has worked as a teacher in Japanese state elementary schools.


Hokopi is a diving and yoga instructor who moved to Okinawa to spend more time in the ocean.


Ganchan has lived in Korea for four years, and wishes to work towards a world of peace. He feels the democratic ethos of Sudbury education is a vital part of this effort.


Enrollment Procedure


1. If you and your family are interested in enrolling then you should be familiar with and understand the Sudbury educational model. We ask that parents read “Free at Last” by Daniel Greenberg and/or watch a documentary on Sudbury Valley School (both available from us – please ask for details). Alternatively you can find a lot of information by searching “Sudbury School” on Google or Youtube.

2. You should then contact us to arrange an initial visit for your family, during which you can tour the school site and talk to staff and children about the school.

3.Your child(ren) will then do a trial enrollment. For children under 10 years old this trial enrollment is 20 school days, and for children over 10 it is 50 school days. However please note that you are free to complete these days at your own pace – there is no need to do them all at once. The fee for trial enrollment is 1,600yen per day,  and we ask that you pay in installments of ten days at a time, i.e. on the first day you will need to pay 16,000 yen. After your child have attended ten school days attended we would like to have a chat with you as a family to see how things are going and to answer any questions and address any problems you may be having.

4. When you have completed the trial period, we will have another chat to check that you are happy to enroll in the school, and then the school meeting will vote to welcome your children as a full member of the school. At that point you will need to fill out the enrollment forms and pay the enrollment fee and tuition.




The Enrollment Fee is a one-time, non-refundable payment. Tuition can be paid either monthly, or twice a year (this is at a slightly lower rate). The fees are:

For one child:
Enrollment: ¥150,000
Tuition: Monthy ¥38,000 / Twice-yearly ¥210,000 (this works out to ¥35,000 per month)

For two children:
Enrollment: ¥100,000 each
Tuition: Monthly: ¥33,000 each /Twice-yearly ¥180,000 each (this works out to ¥30,000 per month per child)

For three children and above:
Enrollment: ¥80,000 each
Tuition: Monthly: ¥28,000 each /Twice-yearly ¥150,000 each (this works out to ¥25,000 per month per child)


Enrollment Conditions


To be eligible to enroll we ask that children be between 5 and 18 years old, that the child him/herself wishes to enroll, and that both parents understand the educational model of Okinawa Sudbury School and are in agreement that the child enroll.




Please send any enquiries you have to okinawasudbury@gmail.com .