Dear Parents,

I once again thank you for your generosity regarding our charity day last Friday, raising an amazing sum of 2.328.37 Euros. This money will be sent to the agreed charity of “Australian bushfire”.

Here is a link if you wish to know more about Aussie Ark.

Secondary School X Country

I am proud to announce that Aloha College Marbella are the International Schools Cross Country Champions for the second year in a row.

Dedication, drive and determination along with some real class from our athletes made for a really positive group, who gave their utmost in every race.  Behaviour and attitude were, yet again, superb. Congratulations to our super-fit team for bringing back the trophy!

Our talented pupils

I always learn something new about my pupils every day. After reading a reference from Mr Heath, Head of English, for a pupil in Year 11 (who wishes to remain anonymous), I invited the pupil to my office. I always knew he was an able writer but I never knew in depth about his overwhelming passion for Creative Writing and Poetry.

Some of the pieces of work he has written are absolutely amazing. To listen to him talk about his love of writing was very moving. I respect his decision not to name him in this letter, however I cannot promise I won’t shout it from the rooftops when he produces his first book!

Enjoy this piece of writing.

Model United Nations Conference

Thank you to Mr Kemp, Humanities teacher, and Ms Corral, our Librarian, who at the end of January accompanied our children to the Model United Nations Conference in The Hague.

This is the largest conference of its kind and Aloha College students did not disappoint! Across five gruelling days, our seven delegates debated with students from all over the world, wrestling with some of the most pressing and complex problems our planet faces. Most importantly, our students made connections with like-minded people from a range of countries and backgrounds. It was a very successful trip which really showcased the expertise and resilience of our MUN students.  Enjoy a complete report in Mr Escobar’s letter. Congratulations to our pupils!

Baby News

Congratulations to Ms Kate Freeman, Primary teacher, who last week gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Francisco.  We welcome you, Fran, into the Aloha community.

Golfing prowess

I would like to congratulate Christian Porter-Lourdon (Year 7) who won the Aloha Golf Club 2019 junior annual ranking order of merit. This is a prestigious golf competition played throughout the year in a series of ranking competitions with order of merit points awarded according to positions in each tournament.  Christian continually strives to get better and better – well done, Christian!

School nurse: Sara

Please remember Nurse Sara’s role is to deal with children who are sick or who have an accident during the school day. Some children are arriving with injuries from the weekend and coming to Sara to act as a doctor.  Sara is not employed as a substitute for your child’s doctor. Thank you for your support on this.

Value of respect

Another polite reminder: As you are aware one of our five values of the school is Respect. I sadly need to bring to your attention the lack of respect from some people towards Fran, our security guard, who is here to carry out his job.

Most of the time Fran is your hero as he kindly gathers your children from the ramp and helps them into your awaiting car.   Fran works very hard to ensure the safety of the children and to reduce the queue as much as possible at these busy times. I know that many of you will be shocked to hear that some parents show a serious lack of respect towards Fran when he asks them to move along the ramp if their children are not there, to ensure a smooth flow of traffic. Some people just ignore him. Some people simply refuse to move on. Please can I politely remind you that Fran is there to do his job and in order to be efficient for the children we need to respect and support him. Thank you in advance for this.

Please enjoy a lovely weekend with your families.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

As we all know children are naturally curious which is why at ACM Primary we provide a wide variety of opportunities to nurture this curiosity. To do this it’s important to encourage children to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer these questions. Please see the link next to this week’s Personal Goal below and encourage your children to ask these questions outside of school to broaden their understanding of the world around them. I’m sure that you will find some of their answers very interesting, we do in school!

Year 3 Assembly
Year 3 performed an amazing assembly all about scientific `Forces´. They entertained the audience with songs and dances about the forces of gravity and friction. 3ESE also showed a video which they produced in Digital Learning with the support of Mr Mulligan. Year 3 clearly demonstrated a lot of knowledge and skills in their IPC learning. As our Star Wars dancers said in their finale, `May the Force be with you!´.


International Schools STEM
On Tuesday a group of Year 4 and 5 children enjoyed an interesting day of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities at Sotogrande School with Miss Fox and Mr Mulligan. The children took part in various challenges mixed with other schools. These included using specific software to design a 3D model, designing and constructing a wind powered machine and using Google Earth and recording software to create a video of places they would like to go. A great day was had by all the children who worked cooperatively, and made new friends.

Foundation Stage Stay & Play
Thank you to all parents who came along on Thursday afternoon.

PSHE Info Meeting for all Primary Parents
We are delighted to invite all Primary parents (FS-Y6) to an information meeting where Alison Harris, a consultant speaker and author from the Jigsaw programme, will explain the importance of the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme. You will be shown the content of the curriculum for this term. There will also be time to ask any questions you may have. The meeting will be held on Friday 14 February at 15:00 h in the School Hall. I look forward to seeing you all there.   

St Valentine’s Party for Y5 -Y6 children
The Secondary School InterAct Club is organising a St Valentine’s Party for Y5 -Y6 children in the School Hall from 16:00 to 17:30 h on Friday 14 of February. Entrance will be €3.00 which includes games, music, prizes and one drink/snack. Tickets can be bought on the day at 15:50 h from the covered area and they can change into party clothes at 15:50 h. The money raised from this year’s event will go in aid of Triple A, Marbella, as part of the ‘Be Kind’ to creatures campaign.

Wild Hair Day Friday 14 February
Next Friday all Primary children are invited to come to school with crazy hair styles to show that we care again as part of our ‘Be Kind’ to our planet and the wildlife that inhabits it, especially those that are endangered.

Aloha Value Focus this half term – Honesty

Personal Goal Target for February – Enquiry – Ask questions like a scientist (link)

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

Aloha College Marbella was invited to take part in the 52nd annual Model United Nations (MUN) conference in the Hague last week and we were fortunate enough to be able to create a team of exceptional delegates to represent Burundi on seven committees. What better place to work together to make the world a better place than The Hague, the city of Peace and Justice? Home to dozens of international organisations, as well as the Dutch government and Royal Family, it is a truly global city and a fitting location for the biggest MUN conference in the world.

MUN promotes and embodies international mindedness in many ways. Not only did our students have to engage with delegates from all over the world, but they also discussed issues with truly global reach and significance. Across five intense and busy days, the delegates lobbied, collaborated and sometimes clashed with their new colleagues with a focus on resolving issues rather than on competing over them. 

Among the dozens of issues which were discussed by the delegates was the problem of disputed sovereignty. Our delegate Majdouline Berrada (Year 12) gave a powerful opening statement to her committee which highlighted Burundi’s own chequered history and drew parallels with contemporary areas of dispute, notably Western Sahara. Adriana Léon, sitting on the Budget and Financial Committee was heavily involved in drafting and redrafting resolutions on complex economic issues, including the financing of initiatives to stabilise central Africa. The two Human Rights Committees offered delegates a timely opportunity to discuss issues as diverse as discrimination against the Roma (traveller community) to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Our delegates on these committees engaged with these issues and more with great insight and humanity.

Our Head Boy and Ambassador for this conference, Emilio Hadjisotiriou said: “What struck me most about THIMUN was the sheer number of people from different countries who attended. It was truly amazing to see how people can come together to write resolutions on a common issue. Moreover, what was impressive was the sense of unity in the debates; even though some delegates didn’t agree with the stance of others, they commended their effort in writing resolutions and voted based on that, rather than whether they liked the person or not.”

Mr Kemp, Aloha’s MUN Director, was filled with pride for our students at this conference. They were not only articulate and perceptive, they also all showed a deep commitment to social justice and to the cause of international cooperation. This conference opened on the day the world commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What a stark reminder of the importance of bodies like the UN and of the crucial role our students will have as the leaders of tomorrow in ensuring that it continues to work for a better world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Kemp and Ascensión Corral for accompanying the group and looking after them so well during the week.

I hope you have a nice weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Francisco Escobar

Headteacher, Secondary

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.