AIM Kent was set up in 2015 by a group of three mums who wanted to 'level the playing field' and offer affordable 11+ preparation to bright children who would not otherwise receive it. Since then, AIM has grown to support thirty children every year from local, low income families. AIM is all about promoting fairness and achieving inclusivity.
At Skinners' School we have worked with AIM for over two years. AIM is an innovative and effective charity, breaking down barriers to selective education and making an increasing number of youngsters realise that the 11+ and grammar schools are not to be feared. We fully support AIM's ideals and look forward to continuing to support its valuable work.
Edward Wesson, Headmaster, Skinners' School, Tunbridge Wells
We are delighted to add our support to the work AIM are doing in West Kent. As grammar school leaders, we are acutely aware of the advantages that a selective system can bring to advance social mobility, but we are also aware mindful of the inequality that exists to combat access to additional support to prepare for the 11+ tests. By providing this support, AIM are working to reduce that gap and enable the true advantages of selection to be available to all.
Jon Wood, Headteacher, The Judd School, Tonbridge
We are delighted to have been successfully supporting AIM for the past six years. Like AIM, The Right Tuition Company are passionate about making supplementary education available to all; thereby making a grammar school a realistic prospect for an ever-widening demographic. We are so pleased to be able to help AIM through the provision of our highly qualified, expert tutors; our unique Year 5, 11+ course structure, which includes our 11+ Mock Exams; as well as our on-going education advice and guidance.
Arthur Ponsonby, Founder and CEO of The Right Tuition Company
My background is not in teaching; I am a mental health advocate and a mum of three boys. I wanted to do something for my community, and had been exposed to the 11 plus 'craziness' when my son was in Year 5. I am naturally very passionate about people having a voice and opportunities being equal, so when I looked into the disproportion of grammar places being awarded to children from higher income families compared to lower income families, I was motivated to try and make a change.
The grammar school system is a shocking example of educational opportunities not being equal, which is the opposite reason why grammar schools were introduced - in order to make education meritocratic and fair. The tutoring culture has changed this but the 11 plus, the gateway to grammar, is two or three decades behind.
I wasn’t one of those parents who said in Year 1 ‘I’m never going to tutor my child’, and then desperately called friends in Year 5 trying to get on a tutor’s waiting list. I wasn’t a parent who started tutoring in Year 2, living and breathing non-verbal reasoning and tutoring daily. I was a parent who wanted the best school for my son, recognised that preparation was the key and with a bit of a squeeze could afford to pay a tutor to help my son practise the elements of the exam that were totally alien to him (and me). I found it uncomfortable having a greater chance of a grammar school place because I was in a more fortunate financial position.
Zoe Catania, Co-Founder and Chair of AIM
We build positive relationships with families, while helping children to reach their academic potential. They develop their confidence and have fun along the way!
The proportion of children from low income families at Kent Grammar Schools continues to fall. AIM is passionate about reversing this decline.
We have wonderful secondary schools in West Kent. Many of them are selective. AIM has a well resourced programme, delivered by the AIM charity and the Right Tuition Company at The Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells and The Judd School in Tonbridge. Our Team of volunteers supports AIM children and their families every step of the way. We can only do this with donations of resources and money from our Supporters.
Our AIM tuition programme gives selected children over 50 hours of tutoring from January to September of a child's Year Five (including weekly term time and holiday sessions). The children also have two mock tests, in April and July, to prepare them for exam conditions. We offer the same mock tests to other local children too, for a modest fee, to raise funds for AIM and to give families feedback on their child's secondary school options.
How can my child get a place at AIM?
We have a simple selection process:
1. When your child starts Year Five, please register for an Assessment Morning.
2. At the Assessment Morning children sit some tests in English and Maths.
3. We look at the Assessment Morning results, and if we think children are suitable for the AIM Kent programme, we discuss the tuition sessions, transport, homework and plans for 2023 and beyond, before offering a place on an AIM Programme. At this stage, we may also discuss household incomes and any future financial plans.
The tuition programme runs from January 2023 to September 2023, providing weekly tuition all the way up to the Kent Test in September 2023.
If you need any further information about AIM Kent, or want to chat with us about your child's suitability, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org