An idyllic setting in which to learn real life skills is what Plumpton College offers.
Situated at the foot of the rolling South Downs, in the heart of the National Park, Plumpton provides a supportive and engaging atmosphere in which to learn and study.
The 900 hectare estate includes ancient semi-natural woodlands, chalk downland and a network of small streams – making it the perfect place to study land based subjects. Home to 340 Holstein cows, alpacas, a modern high welfare pig unit, 500 breeding ewes, a Sussex suckler herd and a wide range of arable crops – Plumpton provides a real hands on learning experience.
Beautiful grounds designed, landscaped and maintained by the students are home to a state-of-the-art learning environment that includes eight machinery workshops, 12 modern forges, an equine unit with two yards housing 60 horses, two indoor schools and an outdoor school, horse walker, mechanical horse and cross country course. The on-site dairy produces milk, cheese and yoghurt.
Established in 1926, Plumpton College offers a huge array of land based courses from special programmes for 14-16 year olds through to Diploma courses at level 2 (equivalent to GCSE) and 3 (equivalent to A level), Foundation Degree, BSc Degree and Post Graduate levels. There is also extensive apprenticeship provision. Studies can be full or part-time.
Agriculture, horticulture, garden design, motor vehicle technology, blacksmithing, creative metalworking and jewellery, animal care, floristry, dog grooming, equine, countryside management, environmental conservation, fabrication and welding, fishery management, horticulture, veterinary nursing and gamekeeping are just some of the subjects available.
Plumpton offers a wide range of Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships run by staff with knowledge and industry experience – the perfect opportunity to learn whilst you earn.
Work focused degrees at Plumpton are designed to prepare students for employment. Subjects available range from agriculture, animal science and arboriculture to veterinary nursing, viticulture and oenology and wine production, with a whole host of others in-between.
A unique feature at Plumpton is the Wine Centre, home to a full range of courses relating to wine production and the wine business. This beautiful purpose built facility designed to echo the rolling downland it is nestled in features a commercial and research winery, laboratories, lecture theatre and wine evaluation room. About 30,000 bottles of award winning wine are produced here every year using grapes grown on the college’s own ten hectare vineyard. These are sold in a range of leading stores including Waitrose and John Lewis as well as many restaurants including Hakkasan in London.
For those whose passion is the great outdoors Plumpton offers a range of courses from BTEC to an Honours degree in outdoor adventure activities. Students get to develop a wide range of practical outdoor skills qualifications using not only the Plumpton site but also the college’s Water Sports Academy in Newhaven and the Outdoor Centre in Snowdonia.
Plumpton also offers career focused vocational/technical courses for 14-16 year olds who would benefit from a more practical approach to learning. All the courses teach practical skills for work as well as develop social and personal skills, ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need to progress to further education, apprenticeships and employment.
Plumpton College has around 3,000 students from day release to full time, making it big enough to have all the latest facilities but small enough to care.
There are residential facilities, graded outstanding by OFSTED, for more than 200 students. Students benefit from a full range of IT services and a library containing 10,000 books to back up their studies. Dining room, which uses produce from the college’s own farm, offers excellent food throughout the day while two snack bar style shops offer food, drinks and general items. Three student common rooms, along with three smaller communal areas for residential students, provide great spaces to relax, study and socialise.
Sports hall has facilities for five-a-side football, netball, badminton, cricket, basketball, volleyball, hockey and indoor tennis. The climbing wall is extremely popular. Outdoor facilities include a sports field, two tennis courts, football, rugby and cricket pitches. There is also an on-site gymnasium.
The college hosts an annual open day that offers something for all the family as well as a showcase for what the college can offer and includes courses and career advice, displays, demonstrations and children’s activities. Regular information mornings provide an opportunity for those looking into further education to discuss course options with staff.
Taster days, free to those in years 9 to 11, give youngsters the opportunity to experience a subject of their choice and all that Plumpton has to offer – making it easier for them to make an informed decision about their future study path and career.
So if you are considering a land-based course take a trip to Plumpton College to see what it can offer you.