PARENT NEWSLETTER (17 – 19 DEC)

Dear Parents,

When I issued my last newsletter we were basking in sunshine at our annual traditional Christmas bazaar. What a wonderful day!!! After a difficult half term many of you expressed your thanks and thought, like me, that it was just what our Aloha family needed.. Once again our most heartfelt thanks go to our hardworking PTA and helpers.

PRIMARY CHRISTMAS CONCERTS

Congratulations to all the Primary children who performed in the Christmas concerts this week:  they were outstanding.  Thank you to all the Primary staff for their hard work – particularly to Miss Kate, Miss Liz Keys and Mr Smith, the Key Stage leaders, and to all the parents who attended.

SECONDARY

On Monday you have the opportunity to enjoy another Christmas spectacular performed by our secondary pupils. This takes place at 18:00h in the Arts and Sports Hall.

CHILDREN’S PRIZE DRAW

This took place on Wednesday 5 December.  The happiest pupils were the winners of that highly coveted prize “Lunch with the Principal, Heads of Section and Business Manager”.  Congratulations to Katie and Martín from Secondary, and to India P, Savannah, Mara and Bobbie from Primary.  They will be the envy of their friends!  😀

SOLIDARITY

Thank you very much for once again supporting Caritas and Crece this week.  The Crece calendars will be on sale (€5) for the rest of the term.  The photo of our children can be found under “September”.

Mr Toal, Head of PE, and the PE department have once again organised a Christmas challenge – here is how it works: Christmas challenge video

SCHOOL REPORTS

On Wednesday 19 December you will be able to access your child’s school report through the Parent Portal (except for Foundation Stage, who will receive printed copies).  Please collect your access codes from Reception if you have not already done so.  If you have any queries regarding your child’s report please contact the appropriate Key Stage leader

Please note that our communication with you the parents has greatly improved. However please understand that if an email is sent to a teacher after 17.00 h or indeed at weekends, a teacher is not obliged to reply until the next working day. If there is a very urgent matter then of course the Heads or myself should be contacted. Thank you for your support in this matter.

SCHOOL OPENING HOURS – UNIFORM

During the holidays school will be open on Thursday 20 December from 9:30 h to 13:00 h.  It will be closed over Christmas and New Year, to reopen on Thursday 3 January.  Hours on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 will be from 9:30 h to 13:00 h.  Parents will be able to purchase uniform on those days. Term starts on Tuesday 8 January 2019.

I want to thank all of you, the parents, for your full support during this first term.  I wish you a wonderful Christmas with your families and look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 8 January at 9:00 h.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Elizabeth Batchelor

Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Unbelievably we have almost reached the end of a very busy term. This week has been full of those very special Primary School moments due to our three outstanding performances. These are the memories we cherish as our children grow. They are also the memories we have from our childhood. Thank you to all who attended, who laughed, cried and sang along with all year groups! As Headteacher, I really couldn’t be more proud of the children and my outstandingly creative and patient team of teachers.

 

  

Next Wednesday 19 December you will receive your child’s end-of-term Report (see instructions below). I have enjoyed reading and commenting on each and everyone. It is clear that your children are being challenged and supported to reach their potential but also, in the children’s own words thoroughly “enjoying” their learning. I hope that you take the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress in person from 14 to 16 January by booking an appointment online using “Meet the Teacher” (parents will receive instructions and information next week).

Finally, thank you for all your support and cooperation this term. I wish you all a very happy holiday either here in Spain or in the many locations around the world with your families and friends.

Next week’s target: No more plastic cups from January 2019
As an Eco-School we are looking at becoming single-use plastic free. We will be eliminating plastic cups at the school from 2019. All children should be encouraged to ask Santa for a reusable water bottle this Christmas if they do not have one already. Thank you for your participation.

Yours sincerely,

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

I cannot believe there are only three days left before the end of term and barely two weeks to say goodbye to 2018. It’s time to rest, have fun, reflect on the year which is about to end, but more importantly, recharge batteries to start 2019 full of energy.

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me the latest advert that the Swedish giant IKEA has chosen for the Christmas season. It is understandable that many companies nowadays appeal to consumers’ emotions in order to sell their product. According to experts, this type of advertising stays in our memory for a long time.

IKEA, on this occasion, has not advertised its product directly but instead decided to send us a really valuable message: ‘Disconnect and reconnect’.

The advert focuses on how little we really know about our families and friends due to our involvement with social media. In the video, different families sit around a table to play the ‘Life Contest’. The game consists of answering questions about celebrities, the latest features introduced on social networks and also about aspects related to the lives of their own family members.

There are immediate answers to ‘What animal filters can you find in Instagram stories?’ or ‘What is the swish swish?’. However, an uncomfortable silence followed by “I don’t know” is the answer to questions such as ‘What is your child’s favourite book?’ or ‘How did your parents meet?’

This advert highlights the fact that we don’t really know our closest ones, but yet we are able to answer any question linked to the celebrities we follow on social media. Society continues to be immersed in a phone screen and far away from reality.

My message to you all is exactly the same as IKEA’s: “Let’s disconnect from the superficial and reconnect with what really matters”.

Here you can watch the advert.

I hope you have a well-deserved rest.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Francisco Escobar

Headteacher, Secondary

 

One subject is chosen from each of the following groups:

  1. Language and Literature (Language A). Students take their studies in a language in which they are academically competent.
  2. Language acquisition (Language B). A modern language course with an emphasis on understanding another culture through its language.
  3. Individuals and Societies: Provides for the development of a critical appreciation of the nature and activities of human activities in history and the physical, economic and social environment that people inhabit.
  4. Experimental Sciences: The exploration of concepts, theories, models and techniques that underpin each subject area and through these, develop their understanding of the scientific method.
  5. Mathematics: The development of mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles and the development of logical, critical and creative thinking.
  6. The Arts: Students develop their understanding of the dynamic and changing nature of the arts and explore the diversity of arts and learn to express themselves with confidence and competence. Students may opt to study an additional science, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts.

The requirement that students take at least one subject from each of the first five groups listed ensures a balanced education. Thus, the scientist continues the study of languages and one of the humanities, while the arts student continues to take mathematics and science. Furthermore, students may choose their study programmes to take into account their interests, abilities and future career or education requirements by the choice of the sixth subject and by the choice of subjects offered at Higher Level.

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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.
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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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!