“During my visit I could see that most of the students at SVS are in general a happy bunch due to, among other things, the freedom and responsibility that the community affords to them. The younger students, who have never attended a traditional school, settle in quickly and embrace the freedom to move around the campus unencumbered. In particular, there were three students (aged 4 to 6), which were almost inseparable. I observed them on numerous occasions, e.g. playing in the sandbox, playing on the swings, hanging out at Monkey Tree (it is one of the trees that the students like to climb) and eating lunch together. Most of the time they were engaged in pretend-play or busily chatting, and they clearly enjoyed each other’s company.”
(This was written by a person who is starting a Sudbury School in Hong Kong and so was invited to observe at Sudbury Valley for a day. It sounds like it is about one of my kids and his friends. If not, it sounds just like it as I have occasionally heard about fun in the Monkey Tree…)
A fairly recent photo of Monkey Tree can be found here. Just this morning I happened to be walking down to the school, and overheard one of L’s friends say to him “Hey L, when you are ready, meet me over at Monkey Tree”. Trees are important.