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Helping to extend and enhance the National Curriculum

Businesses have often looked to support schools in teaching the curriculum, frequently producing packs of support materials that link in one way or another with their own products. Before the advent of the National Curriculum, these were often quite unfocussed and didn't always promote best practice in the classroom. Now, most material is much better researched and links directly to teachers' own schemes of work.

Many companies are looking to the world- wide-web to provide materials directly to schools, whilst others provide materials in more traditional ways via their community affairs departments. Some companies have chosen to move beyond the written word.

Some sponsor advisory teachers, whilst others provide boxes of 'hands-on' resources for schools in their immediate area. Others host carefully structured visits to their company sites, usully with a curriculum focus.

Relatively recently, many companies have discovered the benefits that can accrue from giving their staff time away from the workplace to volunteer their services directly to local schools.

Many companies now run reading volunteer or 'number partner' programmes, allowing volunteers, often in teams, to spend time supporting teachers in the literacy and numeracy hours. These volunteers, 'police checked', can often be the first adults, other than teachers or parents, whom pupils have formed relationships with and the benefits in educational terms can be surprising. Apart from making leaps in understanding, benefiting from one to one attention, children grow in confidence and develop their social skills. Such benefits aren't just for children.

Companies report similar developments in their own staff too!

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