Parent Newsletter 1 May

Dear parents,

A shortened, combined newsletter this week for you to enjoy a day earlier as we celebrate Labour Day on 1 May.

At the risk of repeating myself, which I know I am, I thank you for supporting your children in our final term’s new online programmes. Some of the work being submitted is quite outstanding.

From the wonderful mural of sisters Anya (Year 8) and Zaya (Year 5) Zavery.  


To Victoria Moore’s idea (Year 2). She has been so kind in considering that the birds might be more hungry than usual in this lockdown period so she has made them a special bird feeder. 


And the poem from Aurelia Howard in Year 3, which shows she knows all about metaphors and similes. 


Thank you, children, for making my online learning so pleasant.

As you are all aware, there was a national announcement made on Tuesday evening regarding the lockdown period.  

The Board of Trustees and management of the school are currently analysing this carefully to formulate a whole-school plan. Once this is completely finalised we will share it with you.  

Now, enjoy Mrs Salmon letting you know about Stars of the Week and Mr Escobar sharing with you some lovely feedback and projects of his Secondary pupils.

On behalf of all of us we hope you enjoyed your day off, and have a lovely weekend with your families.



Dear Parents,

In my Monday morning message (find my video message here) I asked the Primary children to try hard to go ‘above and beyond’ in their learning this week. This means really trying that extra bit harder, to think about their learning and how they can improve it. Needless to say “the best Primary School children in the whole wide world” have not disappointed. 

We have been overwhelmed with all the outstanding work sent in and so congratulations to the following
Stars of the Week because your efforts were truly amazing!

NSCCU Luca Knezovich, NSERI Aurora Toal García
RCEMA Daniel Esteban Roldán, RCJST Liam El Nakib
1KED Aleksandar Malavé Praizovic, 1MTI Elija Sidorovic, 1LHO William Carrol
2LT Hayden O’ Driscoll, 2ARS Leyla Kipcak, 2FFO Sara Alonso García  
3EK Aitor Cordón López, 3JCH Julia Bendefa, 3ESE Aurelia Howard
4ITA Dina Gzouli, 4ES Vera Luna Cara, 4SJD Carlos Gutiérrez Coelho     
5MAS Harry Campbell, 5ASH Beatriz Salvador Chávez, 5BWA Yasmeen Ojjeh
6PSM Gennaro D’Aria, 6WA Jimena Aguilar del Río, 6CST Sophia Achabbak

Srta Encarnita: NS Fernando Lezama Leguizamon Fernández De Villavicencio, RC Alma Ortiz, Y1 Qilu Chen Zhang, Y2 Adriana Akhmedova, Y3 Smilla Andersson
Srta Rosa: NS Thalia Boujnah, RC Sofia Ben Larbi Doncel-Moriano, Y1 Taisiia Krivitskaia, Y2 Maria Bliznyuk, Y3 Lily Holden
Don David: Y2 David Lesko-Nuttal, Y3 Raz Chervinka, Y4 Diego Veit Urbano
Srta Laura: Y2 Leyla Kipcak, Y3 Indiana Leader, Y4 Luca Leader
Srta Antoinette: Y4 Rafael Tye, Y5 Nellija Sjöberg, Y6 Georgie Verinder
Srta Sylvia: Y4 Honey Holmes, Y5 Kai Santegoeds, Y6 Freddie Sharp
Srta Ana: Y5 Yohan Le Carvennec, Y6 Adriana Coltorti López
Don Diego: Y5 Jimena García Vidal, Y6 Claudia Hormigo Delgado

PE AWARD CERTIFICATES – For outstanding commitment to homeschool PE
Savannah Rodoni 6CST, James Robb 3EK, Emma Robb 1KED and Ahmed Essaid Ben-Yaiche RCJST

2FFO Isabella Spain – She goes above and beyond with her tasks, always stretching herself and rising to the challenges set. Isabella demonstrates an excellent attitude towards home learning. Miss Fiona is very proud of her!

House points
Granada 816
Cordoba 729
Sevilla 599


Aloha Value – RESILIENCE                              
Personal Goal – ADAPTABILITY



Dear Parents,

This week, I would like to share with you some of the English work our Year 11 and Year 7 have been doing with Ms Williams.

Year 11 Reflections

At the start of year 10, Ms Williams asked students to write a letter explaining their thoughts on English. Comments were varied; some said they enjoyed English, while others said they found it boring and hated reading. 

At the news exams were cancelled, many students felt like perhaps all their efforts had been for nothing though. Ms Williams therefore asked them to write a second reflection, at the end of the course, summarising how they feel about what they have gained during this time and through studying the course. Here are a selected few reflections from some students:


I have learned a lot during this two-year course and it has changed me as a person. Even though our class is very noisy we have a lot of character within our group, the experiences and developments we have overcome and learnt in is phenomenal… Our classes have always been very fun and everyone has always been positive and I want to thank you (teachers) for the amount of effort you have put in over these past two years in order to make our classes fun and efficient. I feel like people in class sometimes do not appreciate the amount of effort teachers put in to make the classes engaging.

– Melika Shafiypour


First of all, I think that I have improved a substantial amount in these 2 years, even though I joined our beloved class a bit late at the start. I have enjoyed every single second of the time I have spent learning and developing my language and literary skills. In my opinion I have learned from my mistakes and tried my best in improving my spelling and I’ll admit it is still quite dreadful, but I want to believe that I am getting better little by little. At the start of this course I found it quite challenging and I thought I was not going to be able to do it but thanks to your help and support I got the hang of things and started getting hope that I could actually do it.

– Rayan Abouelala


During these hard two years of our IGCSE course, I can see that I have come a long way from where I began. I have learnt many useful new skills, from being able to analyse a poem, to reading out a personal answer to an entire class full of students. This was something that I never thought I would be able to do, but look at me now. I am also now able to compose a full essay, and I have learnt how to improve essays I have done in the past…I can’t believe this class is almost over! I am happy that I learned numerous concepts that have helped me improve my writing…As a young student we first learned the alphabet, then time passed and we turned those letters into sentences, then to paragraphs, and now finally to essays.

– Leah Mason


Year 7 Photo Essays

By Armani Danckaers Nasr 

For this essay I chose to focus on a project I’ve been working on, the stone floor in my garden. This may be  a bit unusual because other people might be writing about things like baking cakes or their pets but I chose this project as it has made me think we can do more than we think and people don’t realise.  

Creating this has been such a lovely thing and I am really motivated to do it each day a little bit. After doing my school work online I go and do it with my mum, grandma and my dad. We collect all the stones from the river next to my house. It started with a little bit and now it’s nearly finished; each day it grows more and more and I’m so passionate about it. It’s still not finished but I can’t wait to see it when it’s done. We even do some when it’s raining because it’s so much fun but it can be really hard. If I can’t find the right stone I would  have to go and find a stone by the river or look for one around my garden. That’s annoying but everyday it grows bigger and bigger. It’s such a puzzle!

When it’s finally finished my grandma and I were thinking  we could put a little flower in the cracks of  the  stones so it would grow and it would feel like a magical fairy garden; well that’s what I hope! This is my motivation during quarantine!

By Sander Reinhard

Since quarantine I have been extremely bored so one day I decided to bake. First I had to decide on what cake to bake and the first thing that popped in my head was carrot cake.

At first I didn’t know what I was doing but eventually I got the hang of it. I was surprised as to how many different ingredients went into this masterpiece. There were some challenging parts throughout making this cake. The hardest part was to blend the mixture, because it would fly everywhere. My favourite part was cutting the walnuts because it was really satisfying. Before putting it in the oven I thought it looked disgusting but I had hope.

After forty minutes of waiting, the cake was done! When I first tried the cake I was in shock. The cake was AMAZING. I couldn’t stop eating it. 

Because this cake was a great success, I have been baking two or three times a week and my cakes are getting more and more delicious. So since the start of lockdown I can say with confidence that i have learned many new skills.


Darren Roth
Headteacher Secondary

Earned his BA(Hons) in English Literature from Cardiff University before completing his teaching qualification as a secondary English teacher at Swansea University. Over 17 years in South Wales, he held roles including Head of English, Head of Sixth Form, and senior management before joining Aloha College Marbella in 2012. A passionate educator, Darren finds immense satisfaction in students’ success.

His diverse interests extend beyond the classroom. Darren obtained his pilot’s licence at 17 through a Royal Air Force scholarship and continued training for years. He volunteered in the Camp America scheme, played water polo for Wales Under 18s, and taught children to swim.
Outside of his professional and athletic pursuits, Darren enjoys reading, cycling, and walking his rescue Yorkshire Terrier, Charley. A paddleboarding enthusiast, he finds joy in outdoor activities. Darren also has a flair for cooking and delights in preparing meals for friends. He holds a special affection for the Andalusian sunshine and seizes every opportunity to explore Spain and beyond.

Earned his BA(Hons) in English Literature from Cardiff University before completing his teaching qualification as a secondary English teacher at Swansea University. Over 17 years in South Wales, he held roles including Head of English, Head of Sixth Form, and senior management before joining Aloha College Marbella in 2012. A passionate educator, Darren finds immense satisfaction in students’ success.

His diverse interests extend beyond the classroom. Darren obtained his pilot’s licence at 17 through a Royal Air Force scholarship and continued training for years. He volunteered in the Camp America scheme, played water polo for Wales Under 18s, and taught children to swim.

Outside of his professional and athletic pursuits, Darren enjoys reading, cycling, and walking his rescue Yorkshire Terrier, Charley. A paddleboarding enthusiast, he finds joy in outdoor activities. Darren also has a flair for cooking and delights in preparing meals for friends. He holds a special affection for the Andalusian sunshine and seizes every opportunity to explore Spain and beyond.

Louise Verinder
Designated Safeguarding Lead & Pastoral Care

Louise earned her BA Hons degree from Edge Hill University and went on to complete her PGCE. With a lifelong passion for sports, she always knew she wanted to become a PE teacher. She excelled, particularly in sports acrobatics, earning the honor of representing Great Britain. For fourteen years, she served as head of PE in Chorley, in the north-west of England, before embarking on what was supposed to be a year’s sabbatical in Spain.

Louise joined Aloha College in 2014 as a part-time teacher of PE. A couple of years later, she transitioned into the role of pastoral care, a role that she absolutely loves. Tasked with leading the secondary school’s PSHEE program and serving as the Designated Safeguarding Lead, she finds great pleasure in developing positive working relationships with teenagers, supporting their mental health and wellbeing, helping develop their self-esteem and confidence, as well as helping them navigate the challenges of life!
Louise is passionate about learning and developing her skillset. She is an accredited life coach with the ICF, specializing in working with teenagers. She has studied for a Diploma in NLP and has recently been awarded a Level 5 Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health-Informed Schools and Communities. 
Outside of teaching, Louise loves the simple things in life. Spending time with her family and friends, travelling, and spending time outside hiking, skiing and paddleboarding. She loves good food and she feels truly blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
Sara Dickie
Head of Key Stage 2

Graduated from the University of Plymouth with a BEd (hons) specialising in English Literature and teaching children in the primary age range.  For the next 17 years, Sara worked in large, central and outer London schools.  As a senior leader in the UK, Sara raised attainment and supported curriculum development across groups of schools in the local area and worked with the local education authority to provide training across boroughs. She ensured the success of school improvement in roles such as leader of English, Maths and SEND provision over the years.  Sara moved to Spain in 2017 and is currently our Head of Key Stage 2.  

Sara has travelled to many fascinating destinations across the globe and still counts travel as one of her interests.  However, she now spends more time at her rural finca in the Andalucian mountains than ever before due to the increasing number of rescue animals she supports.  Outside of education, Sara loves to spend time in the countryside with her horses, dogs and many other animals under her care. 
Liz Keys
Teaching & Learning

Liz gained a BA.Hons degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Hull.  After her PGCE  she began her teaching career at a state Primary School in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Her passion for teaching and her love of travel soon prompted her to take up her next role as a Reception class teacher at Bangkok Patana School in Thailand where she gained invaluable experience of working in an international environment. 

A desire to move closer to the UK prompted Liz to join Aloha College Marbella in 1997 where she has been a Key Stage leader in both KS1 & KS2. She is passionate about providing children with a Creative Curriculum which  provides exciting stimuli and first-hand learning experiences. Her interests are reading, travel and sampling different cuisines.
Anna Sweeting
Head of Key Stage 3 and Enrichment

Completed her degree in Business, Accounting and Finance, then later a Certificate in Mathematics. Having worked in banking, accounting and education finance she started teaching by founding a tuition company in 2006 and lecturing part-time in a further education college. These both grew, and a decision was made to sell the business and lecture full time, while also leading GCSE Maths. Anna made the move to secondary education in 2015, then joined Aloha College in 2016.

Anna loves inspiring students to try new things and to grasp opportunities, you never know where they will lead! She enjoys performing in theatre shows and singing, but the most drama in her life comes from being an avid follower of Blackpool FC, a curse that she has passed on to her two sons.
Jacqueline Brice
Head of Key Stage 4

Achieved a first class Honours degree in Mathematics and Physics from Kings College London before pursuing a career in broadcasting. She indulged her curiosity in the latest scientific and technological advances as a producer of scientific documentaries for BBC Radio and Television and then moved into fly-on-the-wall documentary making for Channel 4 with the police and the Royal Navy. Her broadcasting career has taken her flying through thunderstorms with lightning chasers in North Dakota, to crime scenes with the Metropolitan Police murder squad and from the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious to Gibraltar by Sea King helicopter. 

As her young family took priority in her life, she turned her degree into a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and brought her family to Spain, where she has continued to share her love of mathematics, science and life-long learning with the students of Aloha College for almost two decades. Over the years, she has thoroughly enjoyed leading the Mathematics Department and Key Stage 3 and now she is working as the Head of Key Stage 4, hoping to instill a love for learning and international travel in our young adults and to encourage them to value a broad range of creative, analytical and communication skills.
Ellen Richards
Head of EYFS

Studied at the University of Chester where she completed her BEd (Hons) in  Primary education, specialising in the Early Years. She believes there is no age range more exciting and inspiring with which to work, and feels fortunate to have truly found her vocation. 

Ellen has taught at international schools in Guangzhou, China, Bangkok, Thailand and London, UK, before joining the Aloha College Marbella team in 2018 where she is currently Head of Foundation Stage. Having attended international schools herself in Maseru, Lesotho, Yokohama, Japan and South Wales in the UK, Ellen feels a strong sense of belonging within our multicultural community.
Outside of work, Ellen is most content exploring all and any creative pursuits, be it in a rather haphazard way! What she lacks in finesse she makes up for in enthusiasm, and will happily while away the weekend with her sewing machine. 
Elaine McGirl
Head of Key Stage 5

An experienced educator with over two decades of expertise in the field of science and education. Originally from Ireland, Elaine graduated with Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Limerick after earning a Bachelor of Science in Education majoring in Biology and Chemistry. 

Driven by a passion for understanding how students learn best, Elaine has held diverse roles in education, including lecturing and tutoring in educational psychology to undergraduate students. She has extensive experience teaching various curricula, including the International Baccalaureate, A Levels and the Irish Leaving certificate, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of various educational systems. 
In 2007, Elaine joined Aloha College Marbella, where she has served as an IB and A-Level Biology teacher, General Science teacher, and Head of the Science Department. Currently, she holds the position of Head of Sixth Form and IB Diploma Programme Coordinator, demonstrating her leadership and commitment to guiding students towards academic excellence and personal growth.
Outside of teaching, Elaine enjoys Irish dancing, Flamenco, and salsa. She can play several instruments from her days in a youth marching band. Elaine loves traveling, trying new foods, and spending time with animals.
Anne Ross
Head of Key Stage 1

Began her teaching career with a Foundation Degree in Early Years from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland. She managed and developed a Nursery School in the Highlands for several years and was very involved in raising the awareness and the importance of Early Years education throughout many schools in the Highlands and North of Scotland. Anne then furthered her studies, experience and expertise by gaining a PGCE at the University of Buckingham to further her career in Primary education.

At Aloha Anne has always been passionate about extending her knowledge and learning, she is currently studying to become a certified Well-Being coach. She is a strong advocate of student wellbeing, emotional intelligence and social development, these important life skills ensure our students emerge more resilient and ready to face future adversities. 
Even though Anne has lived in Spain for over 20 years, she loves to explore Spain’s rich culture and many hidden treasures. She is an enthusiastic traveller with a love for diverse destinations and learning from different cultures. Anne has always been passionate about sports and keeping fit and in her spare time she loves Crossfit classes, family time and reading.
Emma Saunders
Primary Designated Safeguarding Lead & Pastoral Car

Emma has dedicated her entire teaching and professional career to ACM. A Saint Mary’s University London honour’s graduate, holding a Masters Degree in International Education from Oxford Brookes, Emma has shaped her career into a student-centric narrative. Her experience and research into “Third Culture Kids’, which recognises our students unique educational, international and Spanish experience, was used in crafting and developing the Primary PSHEE programme, facilitating essential skills appropriate to academic, psychological and emotional well-being.

Emma’s professionalism at Charity, is helping change lives for the vulnerable, in Málaga and Africa where ACM has initiated educational programmes in Kampala. Her work as a rapporteur for the COBIS ConnectED sessions is established and recognised. As a qualified Catechist, Emma’s Pastoral Care role is busy and engaging. As a safeguarding expert and officer, fluent in Spanish, Emma analyses the latest programmes, developments and policies, at national and International level.
As a former ballerina, Emma trained young dancers for school shows and Marbella events in modern/Irish dance, and regularly performed in her native West End. Emma also enjoys entertaining family and friends, however Tara the Afghan Hound as the newest member of the Saunders family, is the one who now steals the show!
Kate Edwards
Headteacher Primary

Kate graduated from the University of Central England with a BEd (Hons) in Primary Education, specialising in the Early Years. As an experienced leader in both UK and international educational settings, Kate is committed to providing students with a learning environment that celebrates effort and achievement in both academic and personal endeavors. In July 2019, Kate, completed the Cobis Program for Aspiring Heads, before taking on her first headship with us in 2023. 

In her spare time, Kate loves spending time with her husband and three children. They often enjoy trips to the park, constructing Lego masterpieces, strolls along the beach and splashing about in the pool. When time allows, Kate also loves to bake.  At home you’ll often find her whipping up a storm in the kitchen. Rumour has it, she dreams of donning the iconic apron on the Great British Bake Off one day! 
Víctor Ranea
Head of Administration

Víctor Ranea se unió al colegio como Business Manager en 2003. Lideró el proceso de transición entre la antigua compañía y la fundación actual. Como responsable del área de Administración, ha participado en varios Planes Estratégicos. Además de las finanzas y los Presupuestos Generales, ha dirigido los proyectos constructivos del colegio y contribuido en los planes de marketing así como en la implementación de nuevos sistemas informáticos del área de finanzas.

Licenciado en Ciencias Economicas y Empresariales por la Universidad de Málaga, Víctor Ranea es un apasionado del deporte, con experiencia en competiciones regionales, habiendo contribuido a la creación de los clubs deportivos del colegio. Un amante de los viajes y la gastronomía, así como de la música, el teatro y el cine.