Parent Newsletter 16 January

Dear parents,

Happy New Year to you all!  I wish you and all your family a very happy, successful and healthy new year.  Let us hope 2021 brings us some normality.

Many of you will have travelled during the holiday period; please may I remind you that if either you or your children display any Covid symptoms, you stay at home and seek medical advice.

Trial Examinations
Year 11 and Year 13 pupils have spent a great deal of the holiday studying for their trial examinations.  We wish each of them every success.  If they are fairly calm it means they have revised; if they are bad-tempered and edgy, this can be teenage language for not having revised enough! 

Seriously, though, trial examinations are another stepping stone, they are there to support you ahead of the “real” exams in the summer term.

Christmas KM Challenge
Mr Toal, Head of PE, and myself tried to prepare for the Christmas KM challenge.  This has been an ongoing challenge for us both. Unfortunately neither of us would ever be worthy enough to match:

-Mr Rob Davies who managed 224 km during the Christmas period
-Marina Mees, Year 8: 160 km
-Rida Khattab, Year 6: 80 km

Congratulations to those 3 champions!

And to the 65 pupils and staff who responded to the challenge.

As much as I am still a fan of athletics, with my current age and figure I could never match your wonderful children!

New members of teaching staff           
Ms Nathalie Moffat, Primary and Mr Martin Love, Secondary                                  

We welcome 2 new teachers to our school community and wish them every success.

We also welcome 14 new pupils who join us from all over the world – please help to make them welcome.

Online teaching
This morning, walking round the Secondary School with Mr Escobar, I was thrilled to see a very fine example of online teaching – the children were in the class while the teacher taught from home.  Their concentration was palpable!

Congratulations to Miss Dry (Secondary PE teacher) who gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Luca, last week.

I hope you do continue to read the rest of this newsletter, as it informs you of Primary school events and contains Mr Escobar’s letter of deep reflection, which is discussed by all Secondary pupils the following week.

Primary Headship
I am busily reviewing the applications of over 100 people who would like to be appointed to lead our Primary school into the next phase of its development. It will take time and many interviews to find the best person for the post. Hopefully the successful candidate will be in position for September 2021, or sooner if possible. I will keep you informed and updated.  

So this newsletter ends as always (I hope) on a positive note.  It is a new year, a new term.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe; now I am going to share with you some specific Primary news.


A very Happy New Year to you all. I hope it will bring good health, happiness and success, and eventually some normality!!

It was fantastic to greet your wonderful children back through the primary gates after a three week holiday.They were excited to tell me all about Santa’s visit, the three Kings – who apparently one of the Reception mums knows personally – and their holidays with extended family. I have heard all about robots, dinosaurs, mobile phones, iPads, new bikes and new books.  One of the Year 1 children asked me if I had some new tights!!!

Anyway, the festivities are over and it’s time to concentrate on the first value of our new term – RESPECT. It is really important as adults that we respect each other and we reinforce the same value with our children. 

We welcome Miss Natalie Moffatt who has joined us to teach in Foundation Stage and is also ready and prepared to teach the class of one of our teachers who will soon leave to have a baby. Please make her feel welcome in our Aloha College Community.

Look at Alejandro Fernández González’ (2FFO) birdhouse which he built with his daddy, absolutely fantastic – lucky birds who visit his garden. 

In IPC Year 3 children are learning all about Ancient Egypt and they have made some colourful pictures of Pharaohs.

Bilal (Reception, Miss Janine’s class) has been working extremely hard this week. He is such an enthusiastic learner and loves sharing his answers and ideas. He created this fantastic giraffe. Miss Janine is very proud of him.

Until a new Head of Primary is appointed,  I will be overseeing the day to day running of the Primary school, even closer, as well as doing my job as Principal of the College, so if you have any concerns or queries please let me know. 

Supporting me 100% will be an extended Senior Leadership Team, any of whom you can contact if you have any concerns, but please remember first to speak with your child’s class teacher.

  • Mrs Emma Matthews Head of Foundation Stage, Nursery & Reception

  • Miss Kate Edwards Head of Key Stage 1, Years 1-2

(she returns from maternity leave in February)

  • Miss Elizabeth Keys Head of Lower Key Stage 2, Years 3-4

  • Mr Peter Smith Head of Upper Key Stage 2, Years 5-6

  • Mrs Emma Saunders Head of Pastoral Care

  • Don Diego García Director Técnico – Head of Primary School Spanish

I call them my dream team – so please contact them or myself if you have concerns that your class teacher may not be able to answer.

This week you have received communications reminding you that our virtual Parents’ Evenings will start next Monday 18 January and will run until Thursday 28 January. Using “Meet the Teacher” you will be able to book one video appointment with your son/daughter’s class teachers and a separate appointment with the Spanish teacher to discuss your child’s report, progress and future objectives. 

Take good care and stay safe.

Aloha Value – RESPECT
Personal Learning Goal – To be Resilient

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful break and your children are ready and excited about the term ahead. 

Every 31st December I compile a list of new year’s resolutions. I usually end up with about 15, which are way too many! This year, I have decided to focus on only three. It has not been easy to get rid of 12 resolutions at the stroke of a pen! 

Just after eating the twelve lucky grapes, I was talking to one of my friends about her current job. She works in the maternity ward at a hospital in Córdoba which she loves. She says that it is the best place she has ever worked at. When I asked her about what makes her job so special she answered: “This is where life begins. Is there anything more beautiful?”.

She says that all she does is make future parents’ lives more agreeable. This is achieved through a simple ‘everything will be ok’, a smile or holding the hand of the woman in labour. The effects of such simple acts of kindness are tremendous. Córdoba is a small town and it is not difficult to bump into someone you know when you stroll around the town centre. She tells me that, long after the birth of a child, she is stopped by many parents in the middle of the street who thank her for assisting and looking after them during labour.

Going back to my New Year’s resolutions, my friend’s experiences in the labour ward have made me think. Originally I had chosen three resolutions that were focused on very specific things, deliberately avoiding objectives of a general nature as they would be more difficult to achieve. Now, I am convinced that such an approach to resolutions isn’t meaningful enough and that I should focus on things that have a long lasting effect and also help others. 

The goal should not be to read a book but to become a great reader; we should not focus on learning how to prepare our favourite food for ourselves but to cook for others to enjoy it; the goal should not be to run a marathon- one should instead aim to become a runner.

I hope that you have a nice weekend.

Francisco Escobar
Headteacher, Secondary