Dear Parents,

Well, what a week, who would have thought it would end this way so suddenly. You will appreciate, after reading my letters of yesterday, that this may be the last newsletter for a couple of weeks. 

Home-school communication will continue but in a different way. We will be corresponding with individual or specific groups of parents about their children, rather than giving you whole-school news as there will be no community events for a while.

This worldwide issue has dominated recent news so let’s enjoy looking at some of this week’s work and celebrations. 

Sixth Form Gym

Our new outdoor gym has been heavily used this week by sixth formers, some who simply want a light workout whilst others are busily battling with the punch bags to relieve some of their stress levels. 

It has been a pleasure watching them enjoy this new facility. 

Aloha Values – Care

As a caring school we not only look after our pupils but also after our staff. Like you parents, many have aging or sick relatives in their native countries. Very sadly, this week we offer our sincere condolences to Mr Wade, whose father passed away, and Mrs Sylvia Depreatere whose younger brother died. 

ACBC – visit by professional players

Before our additional measures were imposed, ACBC welcomed four professional well-known basketball players to demonstrate their skills to our players. Their level demonstrated what practice, training and dedication can do to help you become a better player. Thank you to the Basketball coaches for organising this. 

More sporting achievements

What has one of our athletes been up to this week?

Florence Sargent competed recently in Valencia at the Spanish National Athletics Championships, in the U-18 800 metre event. Although Florrie didn’t win her event on this occasion, it doesn’t matter; what was important was the “learning” throughout the competition. I know I will witness, when I’m very old, Florrie competing in the Olympics. This is yet another example of a pupil with enough self-discipline to train several hours a day yet still excel at her school work. Congratulations, Florrie!

Award for Artwork

Congratulations to Lisa Xiao, Year 13, who won the first prize in the Sur in English Educational Supplement for her wonderful artwork “Rebirth”. The experts commented that the painting was “intriguing”;  “it manages to look light, even though there’s a lot going on, which is not easy considering it’s an oil painting; it shows us into an imaginary world. ………… It’s about the world now, the world tomorrow and the things that inspired us in the past.

Social Media Consent Form

A few weeks ago we shared with you a form in which we asked for your express consent for the use of images and videos of your children in internal communications, marketing actions and social networks. 

Social networks will be used to inform you about events and other aspects of the school in an efficient and simple way. We hope you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram through @alohacollege

We kindly request your consent though the form you can access by clicking this link.

I heard a nice quote on the radio yesterday as I drove to school: “There is no lift to success, you have to climb the stairs”. How true is that?! 

Thank you to all for your full support and for the many late night emails expressing your gratitude. They reach my heart.

Have a lovely weekend.

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

As you can see from the communications from Mrs Batchelor we have formulated a plan to ensure your child’s education continues despite it being at home rather than school. The first thing we need to remember here is the impact this will have on the children. It is essential that we as adults remain calm and reassuring. All that we say or do as adults will increase or decrease their anxiety. 

You may find that your children are more attention-seeking at this time as they are anxious. A good way to help them though this is by encouraging them to express their emotions through conversations, writing, drawing or singing, and having someone who listens to them.

Your child’s teachers will be providing a mixture of lessons and activities which will provide some stability and normality and also continued contact with another adult who cares. These will be a mixture of online and ‘hands on’ as we are conscious of the ill effects of prolonged screen time for young children.

As I say to the children and teachers, we are a team, and together we will help each other through this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to contact myself or your child’s class teacher if you have any access to homework issues or further questions.

Special Blossom Award February 2020
Congratulations to all the children who have blossomed last February:
Stella Sjoberg and Maximiliam Mc Dougall Bernabé (FS1), Tina Anakhasyan and Adhara Abad (FS2), Henry Howard and Maria Astolfi (Y1), Roxane Bourasseau and Emilio de Blick Galacho (Y2), Alba Shechter and Ivan González (Y3), Javier Aguilar Del Rio and Nikita Knezovich (Y4), Hugo Hay Evans and Zaya Zavery (Y5), Etienne Star and Oleksii Prusov(Y6).

NABSS Times Tables Rock Stars competition
We were very successful in the Times Table Rock Stars Competition with 5Ma1A winning out of the whole school. The top three performers were: 3rd place Gamzat Muduez Y5, 2nd place Savannah Rodoni Y6 and 1st place Alexey Ermelov Y5, who answered over 11,000 answers correctly. The top scorers from other year groups were as follows: Zayn Müller Y2, James Robb Y3 and Rafael Tye Y4. Well done everyone for competing and keep up the good work!

Aloha Value Focus – Next half term EFFORT 
Personal Goal Target for March – MORALITY 

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

When I arrive at school every morning, I always see the same student sitting in the secondary reception area. After saying “good morning”, he does not respond; he simply smiles at me. This smile gets me off to a good start every day. I’m sure it happens to all of us: having a laugh with friends or adding a little humour to any situation makes things go so much better. 

It’s not me who says so, but the experts in Psychology and Science: humour is a natural antidote to depression and stress. One minute of laughter is equivalent to 45 minutes of relaxation. Laughter allows us to communicate and is a powerful tool to improve our personal relationships. It is clear that, as in the example I mentioned earlier, laughter, or a smile, generates a positive effect on those around us. Psychologist José Elías maintains that the practice of laughter increases self-esteem, eliminates fear and is an immunological reinforcement.

Did you know that in India there were sacred temples for the practice of laughter? Some Hindu literature talks about laughter as a meditation technique. It is a way of getting to know your inner self and helps us to be in harmony with the world.

More than 4000 years ago in the Chinese empire, people gathered just to laugh in order to balance their health. There are Chinese philosophical currents which claim that to be healthy you have to smile at least 30 times a day. 

Every time we laugh, our body sets in motion about 400 muscles: those of the face and some of the thorax, abdomen and stomach. When we laugh, twice as much air gets into our lungs and we secrete endorphins, which boost creativity.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the laughter therapy workshops that exist today. Well, back in the 16th century a French doctor, François Rabelais, was the first to apply laughter therapy. Aristotle himself, thousands of years ago, described laughter as a “valuable exercise for health”. The role of the jester was institutionalised in the medieval courts and royalties, thus promoting laughter.

When we are in a good mood, it is normal for us to generate more positive thoughts. Laughter can help us put difficulties into perspective and start to create a good state of mind that leads to optimism and well-being.

Let’s listen to Charles Chaplin who said: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

I hope you have a good weekend.

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.