PARENT NEWSLETTER (16-20 SEPTEMBER)

Dear Parents,

Dear Parents,

The end of a very busy week two. I hope your child is now fully settled back into school life and any queries you may have had as parents have been resolved.

Already there have been numerous meetings for you the parents to attend. Every Primary teacher has been introduced at year group meetings and the curriculum shared. KS3, KS4 and KS5 parents have been welcomed at meetings, which all have been well attended. There have been two meetings regarding our revised PSHE Programme. On Thursday afternoon we all witnessed an excellent presentation by Simon Snell (UK Consultant on Children’s Safeguarding) who talked about a variety of safeguarding issues to help you keep your children safe online. I feel we have made an excellent start in communicating to you the parents.

You regularly hear me say that the happiness and well-being of your children are paramount. Achieving this aim enables your children to attain the best examination results that they are capable of.

I would like to share with you in a little more detail the IGCSE, IB and A Level public examinations results.

An exemplary set of IGCSE Spanish (MFL) results were achieved by 23 pupils who took the exam one year earlier than normal.  Congratulations to these Year 10 pupils who all achieved A* which is the top grade.

In our latest Year 11 cohort, 90% of all IGCSE exams taken were a grade A* – C and 43% achieved top grades A*/A.

95% of all our pupils gained at least 5 or more IGCSE qualifications, significantly higher than the UK average.

A special mention must go to Adriana León Villares – 10 A*/A grades, Chantal Domínguez 9 A*/A grades, Chiara Giannullo 9 A*/A grades, Caio Simon 9 A*/A grades

                       

Congratulations to all the cohort and I wish you every success in Year 12. 

To achieve over 40 points in IB out of a maximum of 45 puts any pupil in the top 4% in the world.

2 of our Year 13 cohort achieved 40 points. Congratulations to Antonio León Villares y Felipe Ramon Torres. 

          

Rosie Rainer and Thomas Lovelady scored a perfect 3 out of 3 bonus points in the core elements of the Diploma Programme, not easily done. Congratulations.

          

Lastly the AS results saw some outstanding performances particularly by Luca Hadjisotiriou and Daniel Kukarskih who achieved 3 grade A’s.

     

Beach Party

You have had a lot of notifications regarding the Welcome Beach Party organised by the PTA.  This takes place on Friday 27 September and tickets are on sale at the front entrance before and after school. We look forward to seeing many of you there. More info here.

World Peace Day

We will celebrate World Peace Day on Friday 20 September, for which we ask all pupils and teachers to wear white.  There will be a whole-college assembly at 15.00.  All parents are welcome.  More info here.

Ski Trip

Mr Toal has organised another exciting ski trip for Years 6-13 pupils.  Please see here a video on last year’s trip to enthuse your children

Pupil Safety

I politely asked parents not to park on the pavements in order to ensure safety for your children.

May I wish you and your families a wonderful weekend and thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor

Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

At Aloha we encourage children of all ages to fully participate in their learning process both academically and socially. So this week the children have been further discovering how they learn through the IPC Brainwaves unit. They have also been rediscovering what it means to have a Growth Mindset.

We have also been looking at how we are all expected to behave by showing Respect. You will soon notice that children will be receiving different levels of recognition throughout the year. Each week the class teacher will award a Star of the Week Certificate on Friday afternoons and the child’s photo will be placed on our achievement Board. Each month a ‘Monthly Superstar’ will be selected from each class in my special assembly and we will place their photo on our School Learning Tree. They will also enjoy a special treat with myself. Children are also encouraged to nominate others who they see demonstrating our values which provides them with a greater Pupil Voice.

This week we have nominated one child from each class (Y2-Y6) to be members of our Primary School Council. They will all receive a special badge and I look forward to hearing their suggestions for ways to improve their school experience. Congratulations everyone!

Children are also being invited to join Srta Laura, Miss Meryl and Miss Anne as we move forward as an Eco School. Aloha College Marbella would like to start off our school year by being involved in the Beach Clean up in Estepona! Come join us on Saturday 21 September at 9:45 h at Laguna Village, Estepona; we will be meeting on the beach in front of the car park. More information about World Cleanup Day and the Beach Cleanup in Estepona is available online:
https://www.worldcleanupday.org/about/
https://www.facebook.com/plasticfreeseas/

Thank you to all the parents who were able to attend the Safeguarding meeting on Thursday (Keeping Your Children Safe Online – Risk, behaviours, technology, advice and resources). This information will help further understand the learning behind our Gooseberry Planet units.

I would also like to thank all parents who could attend the first PTA Coffee Morning on Wednesday. These PTA meetings are informal gatherings where you have the opportunity to mix with other parents of Aloha College Marbella and find out more about future PTA events such as the Welcome Beach Party on Friday 27 September and how to help with the Christmas Bazaar (30 Nov).

I would like to remind all parents that the Aloha College Marbella Parent Portal provides you with general and academic information or the year groups – under “Academic and Other Information” (Timetables, Presentations, Curriculum outlines and support materials; Menus; Calendars, Co-curricular activities table etc.). And also information specific to your child (Attendance; Teaching groups and End-of-term reports – available only on the portal).

Team Year 6 Welcome Assembly is on Monday 16 September and all parents are welcome to attend.

Next Friday 20 September Aloha College Marbella will celebrate World Peace Day and all children are invited to dress in white. There will be a special assembly at 15:00 h on the top pitch and parents are welcome.

Next week’s target is: RESPECT with COOPERATION
Talk Homework:
Can you think of any examples where you used your Growth Mindset this week?

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I must have been around 12 when, on my way home from school, I found a 5,000 peseta note (approximately 30 euros) on the floor. I picked it up and put it straight into my pocket. Whether or not I was doing the right thing did not even cross my mind; I was just dreaming about what I was going to spend that money on. I did not plan to tell my parents- I wanted all that money for myself!

When I got home, my mother noticed an unusual grin on my face. I told her that I had had a great day at school. I ran into my room and put the money in a piggy bank where I used to keep all my savings. It was fantastic to see how my piggy bank grew in a matter of seconds. 

I do not know what happened to that 5.000 peseta note. What I can tell you is that the money was not touched for months. The initial desire that I had to spend it, disappeared. Something inside my head told me that I was not doing the right thing. I had to confess my secret.

The voice that comes from the back of our minds is what I want to talk to you about this week. It’s like having somebody inside us who cries out when we do something bad. This is our conscience, responsible for telling us the difference between right and wrong.  

Acting upon your conscience allows you to be yourself, leave your mark and be your best. More importantly, you can also inspire others to become better. Doing good deeds brings order, peace and satisfaction to our lives.

There is no doubt that we make countless mistakes throughout our lives. Reflecting on these and evaluating our actions makes our conscience work better. The more we listen to our conscience, the more aware we are of its existence. On the contrary, ignoring it means moving away from that voice and losing objectivity as well as the ability to understand the things that happen to us. 

‘Do I grow as a person?’ or ‘Do my actions affect others?’ are two questions that can help us know if we act according to our conscience. Sometimes we tend to focus too much on ourselves. Asking yourself: ‘Am I treating others as I would like to be treated?’ will help in this respect.

I’m delighted that I listened to that voice which prevented me from being a millionaire at the age of 12!

I hope you have a nice weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Francisco Escobar

Headteacher, Secondary

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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.

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! 
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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.