Generic - Aimhigher West Midlands


A range of print and on-line resources are available to Aimhigher mentors and the young people they work with. These include a detailed 2 day training programme and a range of resources:

The Aimhigher Idea Bank is sequenced to deliver identified learner outcomes at particular phases in the learner journey through the national curriculum key stages to higher education entry. In our Idea Bank, seven year groups are represented and can be divided into three phases:

  1. Introductory phase: Years 7, 8 and 9
  2. Developmental phase: Years 10 and 11
  3. Consolidation phase: Years 12 and 13

There are also a number of generic activities and information resources that mentors can use and tailor in the work with learners across all three phases.

The Idea Bank covers:

  • Settling in to secondary education
  • New subjects, new teachers, new friends
  • Study and revision skills
  • Learning styles
  • A skills audit
  • Soft skills
  • Subject choice
  • Qualifications and courses
  • Career implications
  • Higher education options
  • Applications to higher education via UCAS
  • Student finance

These activities will help the learner achieve the outcomes outlined in the three phases, and in particular:

  • Awareness of HE opportunities, and a basic understanding of HE and its significance
  • Recognition of the links between the learners’ current curriculum and study at HE level
  • An understanding of the different types of institutions and courses
  • Ability to make informed decisions and recognise that choices may influence career aspirations and options
  • An understanding of their own learning styles
  • Ability to demonstrate and apply the skills required to study at HE level: critical thinking; independent learning; organising their own work, etc

Delivering the Aimhigher Idea Bank

The Idea Bank has been designed to assist mentors in planning and structuring sessions that will engage and motivate learners at each stage of their development.

There are around 15 relevant areas for attention for each year group. The links in the tables below take you to a suite of suggested activities and resources to support you in your work, as well as information on other events and activities organised by Aimhigher and partner Universities that might be of interest to your learners. These include campus visits, subject enrichment programmes, master classes, revision classes, summer schools, and higher education conventions. Please note that although the Idea Bank is divided up into year groups and Key Stages, your learners may benefit from activities which feature in other sections. For example, a year 11 pupil may not have the knowledge as described in the year 11 section. Therefore, some of the activities from the year 9 and 10 sections would be better suited.

Phase Year Groups Main Themes / Activities / Resources
Generic Years 7 to 13
  • Essential websites for mentors
  • Ground rules
  • Ice breakers
  • Communication styles
  • Learning styles
  • The Consequences Matrix
  • Rackets Self-Assessment
  • The Balance Wheel
  • SMART target setting
  • Year 7
  • Year 8
  • Year 9
  • Settling in to secondary school
  • What sort of person are you?
  • Careers aspirations
  • Qualifications, subject options and choices
  • What is higher education?
  • Personal effectiveness and study skills
  • Year 10
  • Year 11
  • Developing career plans
  • Perceptions Preconceptions and misconceptions of higher education
  • Costs and benefits of HE
  • Exploring different progression pathways
  • The importance of work and real-life experiences
  • GCSE revision, study and exam skills/techniques
  • Choices at 16
  • Researching options and decision making
  • Basic personal finance/budgeting
  • Year 12
  • Year 13
  • Learning styles, study skills and transition to post-16
  • Balancing your budget
  • Level 3 revision, study and exam skills/techniques
  • Recognising personal strengths and areas for improvement
  • Researching HE options and choices
  • Understanding UCAS and HE Finance systems
  • Enhancing the chances of success
  • Preparing for HE and independent learning/living

Downloadable Resources

Essential Resources


  • Mentoring Handbook

Here you can download copies of the Mentoring Handbook for academic year 2021/22, and access the detailed learner engagement plans and activities for year groups 7 to 13.

Other Generic Sites


This is the site mentors can use for any communication outside of the school environment. Here mentors can select from over 100 online activities for their mentees (learners) to carry out – this could be independently or with the mentor present. Login details will be given to mentors during their training.

Other generic sites include:

Exploring Careers

Here are some excellent websites that can help you get your mentees thinking about careers and the world of work.  Some also include quizzes and diagnostic assessments that suggest career ideas based on the user’s interests, likes and dislikes etc.

Researching Courses

Why HE?/Student Life

Study/Life Skills

Money Matters

Support for disabled students and care leavers