About Us

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"Play is the highest form of research" 
                                                                                                        Albert Einstein
Alice Benzie Teaching
Social skills for children

Alice Benzie Teaching and Jess Goes Social were set up to support children's social skills and interactions.

They aim to raise awareness of the importance of social skills and the impact these skills have on future success.

Through educating and training adults everybody can reflect on how they support children to aquire and use these skills.

By offering face to face, practical support for both children and adults Alice Benzie Teaching and Jess Goes Social aim to make a positive difference on the immediate and long term future of our children and society.

Why the name?
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Meet our staff

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Jessica Turnbull

Founder of Alice Benzie Teaching

I am a fully qualified Early Years and Key Satge 1 Teacher, with a BA (Hons) in Art and Design with Drama.

I have over 19 years experience of working with children across a wide age range and intensive experience of working with children with SEN.

In my early career I worked as a teacher, for over 6 years, at an Outstanding Primary school, before joing the NHS in a Speech and Language Therapy Department. Both of these roles have solidified my belief that each child is unique and deserves to have their interests acknowledge when planning play and learning activities. I have also developed a good working knowledge, through experience, training and research, of the hugely important role social skills plays in ensuring children reach their potential.

I have worked with a wide range of children and young people over the years and supported parents, families, childminders, nursery staff and teachers in planing and providing oppotunities for the childs continuing development.

Supporting children to become the best that they can be is, in my opinion, the greatest role there is in life.

"I really love being human.
But some days I really wish I could be a fairy."  Greta, age 4

Social Skills

Ever since I started teaching back in 2004 I have been interested in the social communication development of children and was in charge of overseeing SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) in the first school I taught at. I quickly realised without these skills children struggled as they moved through the school system and out in to the ‘real world’.

In more recent times, via my role with MPFT Speech and Language Therapy Department, I have worked with children aged from 18mths through to 16 years on helping them to develop their social skills. This has been achieved by working on a 1:1 basis with children, working in small social groups, supporting parents to develop their interaction skills and delivering support and training to teachers.

A couple of years ago I was commissioned by a well-respected SEN School in Stoke-on-Trent to develop a social skills framework which is used to identify gaps in children’s social skills and set appropriate social targets. During this time I also supported the school and the teachers to reflect on how they were supporting social skills within the classroom, set social targets for specific classes and suggested activities they could use within their setting.

Philosophy
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I believe that-

  • Children learn best through play

  • Learning social skills is as important as academic achievement

  • Exploring indoor and outdoor is equally important

  • Each child is unique and learns in different ways

  • What works for one child might not work for another

  • We should not limit our children

  • Our child have the right to their own interests, even if they don't match ours

  • Children develop at their own rate 

  • Adults should provide support to move children on in their skills

  • Social skills may need to be directly taught

  • Grown ups need play in their lives too

A person's a person no matter how small. Dr. Seuss