Year 10 Plumpton College Visit

10th May 2024

Plumpton college campus visit

On Thursday we took a group of our Year 10 boys along for a tour of Plumpton College, what a beautiful day to visit our award winning local agricultural college. A perk of my job!

We were treated to a full tour of the college by Clare and Jess from the colleges' School Liaison Team. Firstly, we visited the animal management area seeing students hard at work looking after a variety of animals ranging from goats to wallabies and emus, one who had most recently laid an egg! Moving on to the wine division (the students had to drag us away!) where Clare advised us that though many of their students in this area are more mature and changing careers, there are many opportunities for A Level biology, chemistry, and business students in the wine industry. It's a rapidly growing area for Plumpton and the Southeast as a whole and can be very lucrative for those in the industry!

Did you know that the entire site at Plumpton is over 800 hectares in size, housing a full working farm with a dairy herd and agricultural fields, all managed by staff and students, as well as buildings, workshops, and classrooms for the many courses that they offer.  While on the farm we met the 300 strong dairy herd, learning that the milk they produce is used all over the UK. Plumpton have two state of art automatic milking machines that the cows walk themselves into, we saw this happen, otherwise we wouldn't have believed it! We had a great time watching the cows go about their business in the milking area. Plumpton also have a herd of 1000 sheep and 130 pigs.

We then walked along to the AgriFood Centre - this is one of the colleges' newest buildings, home to Plumpton's bakery training programme as well as offering conference facilities to the local community.

As we passed through to the Equine Centre we were able to see some of the Forestry and Arboriculture students learning how to climb trees ready to perform tree surgery in the future - moving on from the stables we were invited to see the Blacksmithing and Metalwork area and by chance met an ex Chailey student who is now the Head of Learning for this area! It was great to see how much he had achieved since leaving Chailey  despite, as he put it, 'not being the easiest student for the teachers to manage while he was at school' - he said he had loved DT & maths while at Chailey and that had inspired him to go to Plumpton and his career had just grown from there!

Next on our tour was the Motor Vehicle workshop where we encountered one of our students who left Chailey only last year, he is now mid-way through is Level 2 Mechanical Engineering course and looked completely at home in the garage environment. Plumpton also have an electric vehicle workshop for students to learn about these types of vehicles as well as traditionally fuelled vehicles. 

The tour was topped off by a visit to see students who are on the Adventure Education course who were all up the top of the climbing wall, their course is made up of time learning how to teach climbing, canoeing and a variety of other outdoor skills mixed with time in the classroom.  All will leave Plumpton with a Level 2 or 3 qualification.

The whole campus is beautiful with the South Downs overlooking the entire site, providing a wonderful backdrop to learning. Plumpton is doing its best to be as sustainable as possible and will offer courses in this area in the future too.

Our students didn't disappoint and were full of great questions, they were animated and engaged throughout the visit and feedback from the college was that they were a pleasure to have on campus. Well done Year 10!

We hope to offer more trips like this in the future to help our students to explore what options are open to them and to broaden their minds about courses and careers that they might be interested in.

For your information:

Plumpton provide courses for students aged 14-16, 16+ Further and Higher education in the following areas:  

Adventure Education, Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Management, Blacksmithing & Metalwork to Dog Grooming, Environmental Studies & Conservation, Equine Management, Fisheries & Aquatic Science, Floristry, Food Skills (Butchery & Bakery), Forest School, Forestry & Arboriculture, Horticulture, Motor Vehicle, Veterinary and Wine Division. They can also offer accommodation to those on degree courses or those that live far away from the campus. 

Plumpton have their Open Day & Spring Fair this Saturday -

Tickets £10 per adult / under 18's go free - dog friendly

Please remember that all students have a login to Unifrog (, please use this and the Careers & Work-Related Learning Newsletter as your first place to investigate post-16 options.