As children develop their interdependency, they also develop a shared authority over their lives at a level appropriate to their age and stage of emotional development. This is agency.
The Mulberry Bush looks to nurture this in children, not to create false adult selves but to support the development of personal responsibility, also the ability to share responsibility rather than impose authority, the qualities of empathy and consideration for others. It is important that these qualities are nurtured at a level appropriate to the age and stage of the child. It does not deny that children need adults to look after them, but recognises the transition towards adulthood and importance of moving towards independence.
It is not enough to give emotionally deprived children good experiences, we must also help them to keep good things inside them, or they will lose them once more.
Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, 1990
Children at the Mulberry Bush are given appropriate levels of responsibility as they grow emotionally; they may be a buddy to a new child, show visitors round the school, attend a club or society outside the school, be a member of the school council or help present one of our sharing assemblies.