Actress -Tiffany Westbrook in Waterloo road
1. What was your school like?
My school was a mixed, fairly small school in a small town in Manchester. Because it was so small, it was easy to get to know all the teachers and students!
2. What is your favourite memory of school?
My favourite memory of school would be having a laugh with my friends or whenever we did
a school play. I would also fall in love a lot, which was always great fun. We also had a substitute teacher who would tell us ghost stories if we were good, it was always a good day when we had her for a lesson. I also used to have a secret pocket in my blazer that I would hide sweets in...
3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?
Academically, not much because I’m a bit of a daydreamer – still achieved average good grades! But because I was quite a chatty person, I learnt a lot of social skills and developed my confidence. Especially in RE when I enjoyed a lively debate.
4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?
I wasn’t bullied at school but, with it being such a small school, I was friends with quite a few people in my year and it did happen to some of them – bizarrely it would sometimes end up to be their friends doing the bullying – leaving them out and things like that. Our school could be good or bad at handling bullies; sometimes measures were took to sort it out, other times the bully would just be punished, which doesn’t really help anything as sitting in a room for an hour after school doesn’t necessarily correct someone.
5. What was your favourite school subject?
Hands down, drama. But we didn’t do that properly until year 10, so up until then, it was English. Teacher’s pet in English!
6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
I looked forward to pretending I was organised for the first day! And seeing my mates of course. I would say: be bright and confident and remember, don’t care too much what other people think of you, if their opinion is bad, it is not valid. Also, if you are afraid of going back, write down all the things to look forward to in school and the times you feel safe.
7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
Not really, but then again, I tried to be quite a positive force and quite easy-going. If I was worried about anything, it was in the first year when I didn’t know where my mates would be if I was in a class on my own – however by the second year everyone knew everyone so it was all good. I overcame this by introducing myself to new people and making more friends, which made school a lot more bearable!
8. What was your favourite school meal?
My favourite food from school was definitely the chocolate cookies! They were so big, soft and sugary... I once bought about four.
9. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?
Nothing. I think school helped me in a lot of things and my experiences, the good and the bad, helped me greatly in life.
10. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
First of all, if it’s consistent, tell someone. If it’s your friends, leaving you out – explain how you feel to them. Be yourself and know that you are better than a bully, even if said bully is making you feel rubbish – you’re in the right. Don’t retaliate to the bullying – be the better person. Also, if it’s online, take print screens, screenshots, pictures of what they have said/done and hand it in because it can feel like you’re all alone, but I promise you that you’re not. But please, please tell somebody!