Alumni

Alumni Profile – Claire Heywood

 

I was a pupil at The Westwood School, as it was then called, between 2004 and 2011. From the age of 12, sat in my Year 7 English class making up stories and poems and plays, I dreamed of one day becoming an author, and now almost a decade after leaving school I am awaiting the publication of my first novel, and working toward a second.

English was always my favourite subject at school, and I owe a lot to my teachers for encouraging me in my creative writing, and for organising trips such as author talks and theatre performances. I stayed on at Westwood to study my A-Levels, and really enjoyed the subjects I had chosen: English Literature, French, and Religious Studies. But when it came to applying for university I started looking for something a bit different, and realised I could combine my love of literature, language, history and culture by choosing a course in Classics (the study of ancient Greece and Rome).

As soon as I started my university course in Classical Civilisation at the University of Warwick I absolutely fell in love with the subject, and completed my BA with the highest degree mark in the year. I then stayed on to study for a master’s degree in Ancient Visual and Material Culture. After university I had to decide what to do next, so before I got a ‘proper job’ I took the opportunity to try and write a novel. After all, that was what I had always wanted to do and even if it didn’t go anywhere I had to at least give it a go. I went through various jobs while I was writing the novel, and then in the subsequent years when I was trying to find an agent/publisher – I worked as an art gallery steward, a private tutor, a tour guide, a receptionist – and then at the beginning of 2020 I finally got a publishing deal, so I quit my day job and am now self-employed as an author.

My novel Daughters of Sparta, set in ancient Greece and retelling the story of the Trojan War, comes out in July 2021.

 

https://www.waterstones.com/book/daughters-of-sparta/claire-heywood/9781529349931

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daughters-Sparta-Claire-Heywood/dp/1529349931/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1601395369&sr=8-1

 

Alumni Profile – Leah Gardner

Congratulations to Leah Gardner who after choosing to follow an apprenticeship pathway with the NHS has completed her degree apprenticeship and graduated as an Operating Department Practitioner. Leah studied a double award in Health and Social Care and Sociology in the sixth form at The Westwood Academy. During her apprenticeship  training she successfully navigated the additional challenges of working on the wards at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire throughout the height of the Covid pandemic.

LG Graduation