PLUMPTON COLLEGE: Building confidence

Maia Peters
Maia Peters

From African land snails and leopard geckos to sugar gliders and ferrets, a day on the animal care course at Plumpton College Netherfield Campus is always varied!

My typical week

Every day is busy, but the atmosphere at Netherfield is always relaxed and really helps me to learn at my best. I have lessons in the morning with a break at 10.30. After that, I come back to the animal unit and do some work, until lunchtime at 12.30. The afternoons also have a break in the middle and the day ends at 4.15pm.

The course is really hands on and has a good balance between practical sessions with the animals and classroom based work. The animal care unit has recently been developed meaning there is a great variety of animals.

We have small animals including guinea pigs and rabbits, a reptile room with geckos, lizards and snakes and we also carry out practical lessons on the farm which has sheep, chickens and pigs.

Each Wednesday afternoon we carry out ‘routines’. This is an important part of our studies to understand the type of work involved in employment within the animal care sector. Routines are anything from taking care of the animals and their health, to feeding, cleaning and preparing food for the next day. Practical sessions include handling of the animals and learning about new animals that the centre gains. Thursdays I have a study skills session where I continue to study towards my GCSE English and Maths.

Gaining confidence

I have suffered from anxiety my whole life and struggled to get back into school. I came out of school when I was nine and last year I was briefly home educated. I couldn’t cope with big crowds and places with lots of people. My brother had studied at Plumpton College a few years before me so I already knew about his experience of studying at the Netherfield Campus. I have always wanted to look after animals and study at college, but knew that going to Plumpton College near Lewes wouldn’t be an option for me as it is a busy campus with lots of people.

I visited the Netherfield Campus to look around. I met staff and everyone was so warm, welcoming and understanding. I knew I could talk to any member of staff and they would listen to me and take an interest in me. The smaller class sizes and small farm at Netherfield helps me to feel confident and continue my studies.

My career goals

At the moment I am really enjoying modules on diseases and parasites. To become a Hydrotherapist would be my dream career. I plan to continue my studies progressing to a level 2 and 3 in small animal care and gain work experience at a hydrotherapy centre. I would also love to come back to Netherfield and teach at Plumpton College to inspire young people to follow their career dreams.


Maia Peters

Level 2: Small Animal Care, Netherfield Campus

:: If you want to find out more about studying at Plumpton College or the Netherfield Campus, visit our website, email our admissions team or call on 01273 980454. Our next information event is Thursday 29th June, 3pm – 7pm at Plumpton College Campus.