What are they up to now...

Share your Story

We want to hear what you have been up to since you left Westside School. When did you leave Westside? Where has life taken you since? 

If you want to feature on our new school website under Westside Alumni please email website@westsideschoolgibraltar.com 

This section can then be used within lessons to inspire current students when considering certain pathways.

Joelle Harrison

I completed my studies in Westside in 2021 and subsequently began pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences at Durham University.  Since then, I have participated in a research project at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada which involved selectively breeding Ontario honeybees for resistance to a parasite known as the Varroa destructor. I also went to South Africa to conduct an individual research project investigating "The influence of group size on flight initiation distance" which essentially allowed me to walk towards large mammal species until they ran away!


I look back at my time at Westside very fondly. My favourite memories include going to a maths study group with my friends and of course prom! 


If I could give any advice to my younger self, it would be to appreciate the moment and to invest in Apple stock! 

Shania Robba

I left Westside during the Covid-19 pandemic, cutting my final year short sadly. My last day of school at Westside was in February, 2020.

Following my successful A-level grades I have since completed a BSc Psychology degree at Loughborough University with a first class honours. As a result, I further continued my studies at Loughborough and I am now doing a masters programme on Sport and Exercise Psychology. Alongside that, I have been part of Loughborough University’s football performance programme, signing with Loughborough Lightning in my final year at the university due to double knee surgeries keeping me out of football for a total of 19 months! With regards to sporting achievements was also named the 2021 Gibraltar Sports Person of the Year due to appearing on a BT Sports Programme, as well as becoming the first female player to score at a UEFA football match. Most recently, I have also captained the Gibraltar Women’s National team against the Tottenham Hotspur Women’s team.

 

I have many special memories at Westside, mainly coming from the special bond you develop with friends, as well as teachers. The reaction from teachers following results day is always special, as they always knew the hard work I put into every academic accolade.

 

My advice would be to focus on the journey rather than the destination. Yes, results are the main focus of your time at Westside, but what is more important are the values and life skills which you can then carry across your lifetime. This also includes memories with friends, but most importantly the footprint you can leave on a teacher or staff for the rest of their lives! Ask questions, learn about each other’s life stories and trajectories, because the main source of learning doesn’t come from textbooks or the greatest role models that you learn about, but rather from the people that surround your day-to-day life.

Evelyn Heis

I left Westside in 2020, but my time was unfortunately cut short due to the pandemic, and I was not able to get a proper Westside send-off. As a year group, we were quite affected by this, and I wish I had gotten to say goodbye to the wonderful teachers who made my time at Westside so memorable. 


Since leaving Westside, I have been living and studying in Bristol. I recently graduated with a First-Class degree in English literature, and I'm currently undertaking a Master's in Comparative Literatures & Cultures, where I get to draw connections with works of literature from across the world. When I was a student at Westside, I was taught by Ms Massetti, Ms Porter and Ms Morello. It was due to their brilliance as teachers that I was inspired to study Literature at a higher level. Now, I work as a part-time bookseller for an independent bookshop and I get to be surrounded by books all day! 


Recently, I created and self-published my own magazine. I had the idea to create a space where students who lived in between cultures, such as myself, could express themselves and thus, The LatinXperience was born. Last week, I celebrated the launch of the publication of our first issue, and I plan on publishing five more issues! In the future, I hope to complete a PhD in Literary studies and hopefully work in publishing to help showcase underrepresented voices. 


Some of my favourite memories from Westside include the year 10 Sports Day, when we all dressed in our house colours, our faces painted in bright colours, and had spent hours plaiting our hair before the actual event. As it so happens, none of us were any good at sports, but we were dressed for the occasion and messed around all day. Another fond memory, particularly of my final year, was every English lesson we had. I was very fortunate to have been part of a class where everyone was close with each other and our teachers, so it was always a comforting and validating environment. I wish we could have enjoyed many more of those days together!


If I could give my younger self any advice, it would be to have confidence in myself, and my abilities, and that I have all the answers I am seeking. I have always struggled with anxiety, and if I could go back and tell my younger self that everything would turn out just fine and to enjoy myself more, I definitely would! I'm very grateful for where life has taken me at the moment, even if I worry a lot, and I can't wait to see what the next few years have in store.

Sophie Clifton - Tucker

When did you leave Westside?

2007.


Where has life taken you since? 

On a wild journey...


I studied English at Oxford Brookes, not really knowing what I wanted to do with it. 17 (when I chose my course) is no age at all, how should I know! But what I did know is that I wanted to get out of Gibraltar (scary as that was) and be independent. Those were some of the best years. I won't go into detail but many jagerbombs were consumed, and very few lectures attended. However, the ones I did attend only strengthened my love of the language.


After I completed my degree it felt like yet another pivotal moment I wasn't prepared for. I decided to stay in Oxford and complete my teacher training (PGCE) as well as my CELTA, so I could travel and teach English along the way. I backpacked round South America and South East Asia, lived in Australia, New Zealand, and Tokyo. I barely knew where these places WERE before leaving Westside (I didn't study Geography, it won't surprise you) so never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd end up on the other side of the globe.


In 2016 I moved back to Gibraltar (we Llanitos are like homing pigeons, we always come back eventually) I set up the Little English language school with my fiancé, Chris. It will have been running 8 years next month...!


I also:

Present a TV show on GBC, The Book Club: https://www.gbc.gi/tv/programmes/book-club-season-2-1311/episode/season-2-episode-2-12199 and some other things like Literature week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWpDHLqznrI, the Literary Festival, and random panel chairing & radio bits https://www.gbc.gi/news/dry-january-journalist-presenter-champions-sober-lifestyle?fbclid=IwAR3NZkEBaKGiGhFOk638RGqPGzkDK5FAYbHy7JUVp-58nkURKHJeDb4Z8Y0


I was the Editor of The Gibraltar Magazine for 4.5 years - www.thegibraltarmagazine.com and Gibraltar Business for 4 years - www.gibraltarbusiness.gi


Asides from that I work in business development/marketing for some local firms. I never studied in either of these fields, so I do want to say that your degree isn't the be-all and end-all. You can learn on the job, and life can take you down a million different avenues you had never previously considered or thought possible.


Leave room for the unknown, and have faith in yourself. (SO cheesy, and so true.)


Special memories from your time at Westside

So many! Though you don't realise how special they're going to be when you're in the moment; it's when you're older, looking back, that you realise how much fun/how important they were. I loved the rabbit-warren layout of the old school. Especially as it gave me an excuse as to why I was late so often. "Sorry miss, I went up the wrong stairs! Again!!!".

I especially loved drama, and being in the old drama hall. And getting ready to race out the classroom just before lunch break to buy one of the £1 torta patata rolls with ketchup before they sold out.

Christmas time was always the best, though. When people would put on performances and the teachers would let their hair down.


What advice would you give your former self?

Don't worry. You don't have to have it all figured out. In fact, it's better that you don't. Trust in your abilities, current and future ones, and BE EXCITED! The world is your oyster and your whole life is ahead of you.

Also, nothing is that serious. Stop worrying. Stay curious, be kind, and be brave.