Dear Parents,

Alumni literary success

Following all our recent communications regarding social media, I am now enjoying reading a book written by one of our alumni, Naomi Shimada. Naomi was a pupil at Aloha from 1998 to 2005. In partnership with her friend Sarah she has written a book entitled “Mixed Feelings”. It explores, through wide-ranging essays and discussions featuring diverse perspectives and voices, what social media is doing to our minds, bodies and hearts.

We are all proud of her success as a writer and model. When I finish reading the book I will leave a copy at Reception for anyone who wishes to borrow it.

Cambridge Achievers Award

Congratulations to Lucas Solé Bravo, Year 12, who has just received the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award for having gained the highest mark in Spain in the June 2019 IGCSE Sports Science examinations. This is a fantastic achievement!

More sporting success

Our U15 girls are yet again football champions!  The team has some very talented players and they are by far and away the best team on the Costa del Sol, proving it at every opportunity.  Well done girls, I am really proud of you all!


By 08.58 h most days this week the traffic on the hill coming down from Aloha Golf had disappeared.  It is great we listened to your issues and were successful in helping to alleviate the traffic congestion in the morning.

Primary parents can also drop their children off at the bus stop so they can enter the middle gate and walk down the path inside the school grounds.

Thank you everyone for your support in this matter.

2nd Learning Conference

The highlight of this past week was yesterday’s Learning Conference.  We welcomed 17 guest speakers who talked to students from Year 10 to Year 13, and parents, about possible “STEAM B” careers (in Sciences, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Maths and Business) with the idea of helping the students discover courses of study and professions that perhaps they didn’t even know existed.  In the afternoon parents and children could chat to representatives from 14 universities. This is a marvellous – annual – initiative which gives our students a head start on the road to a stimulating career.

Christmas Coffee Morning 24 October

There was a disappointing turnout on Wednesday – it seems our mums and dads didn’t put this date in their diaries!  There will be another breakfast opportunity on Thursday 24 October at 8.50 h when parents can enjoy a Christmas Coffee Morning and find out more about how to participate in the Christmas Bazaar.  Immediately afterwards, they can enjoy watching their children in the charity Fun Run – I look forward to seeing you there!

Have a lovely weekend with your families.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

One of our favourite books in the Primary School is ‘I can’t do that yet’ by Esther Cordova. It tells the story of a girl who doesn’t believe in herself and keeps saying ‘I can’t do that’.

Year 5’s excellent assembly on Monday showed that in Aloha we are developing our Growth Mindset which means we always add the word ‘yet’ to this sentence. They explained and demonstrated that at times we find learning different things difficult but that shouldn’t put us off continuing to try. This could be learning a new language, reading, handwriting, taking penalties or learning new dance steps.

In the assembly I also shared with the children that once many, many years ago I suddenly found learning some new maths really difficult. At first I did cry but then I decided to keep trying and eventually my Maths improved again. So, only last week when somebody said to me ‘Mrs Salmon you are so quick with numbers’ I was so proud of myself even after all these years that I didn’t give up.

Thank you Year 5 for reminding us all to exercise our brains through thinking as well as exercising our bodies and for promoting our Aloha value of Resilience.


Yesterday afternoon we celebrated the Día Nacional de España with a Y4 Spanish Assembly in the afternoon. Well done Y4 and Spanish teachers!


Next Thursday 17 October we are proud to host the very first international schools Football Tournament for Y2-3 selected children. It will start at 10: 00 h on the astroturf. All Parents are welcome to come along and cheer on the teams.


Ways to be Green this autumn – As the evenings begin to get darker and the temperature is a little cooler, it’s no longer the season for splashing in the pool or tanning at the beach. So the Eco committee have come up with some ideas to keep yourself busy.

1. Make a DIY bird feeder.
2. Take some nature photos.
3. Make models or crafts from pine cones, pebbles, branches and leaves.
4. Create a kite from recycled items to fly.
5. Go for a woodland walk.
6. Join Plastic Free Seas Worldwide for a beach clean. Saturday 19 October in Cancelada. The beach clean will begin at 9:45 h, please come with your Aloha sports t-shirt, a pair of gloves and a bottle of water. Look out for posters in school for more information.

FS-Y6 Parents’ Evenings with Classteachers
The first Primary Parents’ Evenings with CLASSTEACHERS will be next Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 October (16-18:00 h, School Hall).

Next week’s target is: COOPERATION
Talk Homework: You may have heard your teacher say “Difference is the only thing we ALL have in common.” How are you different from other children?

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

Adriana León Villares, Franky Piscina and Inez Adamovic, all Year 12 students,  have offered to write the newsletter this week. I hope you enjoy reading their thoughts on kindness.

Kindness is essential in our school community in order to create a safe and secure environment for students. It must radiate from every corner. Showing acts of kindness can really have a positive impact on someone’s day. Whether it’s a simple smile as you pass someone in the corridor, asking someone how their day is going or even holding the door open for a person to walk by, it’s the simple gestures that mean a lot.

Kindness releases endorphins in the brain, it’s known as a ‘natural painkiller’ and we should all try hard to carry out random acts of kindness in our day to day lives.  At Aloha College Marbella we really try hard to promote kindness in our school. Being caring is one of our core values and the Be Kind Campaign encourages our school community to be better people.

This year, the Be Kind Team are launching the “Give a Gift Campaign” in time for Christmas.  We would love to encourage all students and families in the College to purchase gifts for children from 0-16 years of age. We will then deliver these gifts to children in our local area, who are less fortunate than ourselves. We hope to make them smile and make Christmas a happier occasion.

“Kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it”.                 Patty O’Grady.

We hope that you will get involved and support our ‘Give a gift Campaign’ and help to share a little kindness at Christmas.

By Adriana León Villares, Franky Piscina, Inez Adamovic – members of the ‘Be Kind Team’.

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.