Dear Parents,

It was wonderful to see all your children return safely on Monday, happy and relaxed. They all appear to have enjoyed an exciting holiday but most told us they were glad to be back. I’ve never seen so many happy parents either, also saying they are glad to “bring” them back. 

We are indeed a happy and caring community with a common aim to nurture responsible, caring pupils whilst promoting high level teacher and learning. 

We welcome 116 new pupils, we hope they have enjoyed their first week. I will soon get to know them all. May I remind new parents if you are unsure of anything at all, please ask, we will do our best to help you. 

Each year brings positive change. This includes welcoming ten new members of staff. 
The primary section welcomes:
Amy Garcia, Fiona Foody, Georgina Flack and Edward Hidden.
The secondary section welcomes:
Louise Marsden, Craig Scott, Sean Moore and Stuart Welsh.
We only recruit the best teachers for your children so please make them feel at home and support them. 

The summer break is always a time when we can update our facilities.  Just as an example, in the Secondary Section we have created additional classrooms and Science Laboratories, plus extensions of existing labs.  Our Foundation Stage pupils can now enjoy new shading.

Thank you for supporting the introduction of our spectacular new uniform and indeed for your positive comments. 

As the week has progressed many of the questions you raised have been clarified:


Q: Does my child have to wear his/her tie now?
A:  Some children from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 have chosen to wear their tie already.  However, ties are not compulsory until after half-term, i.e. 4 November, as they are classed as winter uniform. 

Q:  Does my child need to wear his/her blazer?
A:  Again, like the above, this is not compulsory for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 until November.  However when it becomes cooler and your child requires a coat/jacket, this must be the blazer.

Q:  Can the girls wear trousers?
A:  Yes, we are a gender-neutral school.

Q:  Must long hair be tied back?
A:  All hair longer than collar-length MUST be tied back

Q:  Are “trainers” acceptable if they are black?
A:  No, All pupils must wear a formal black leather-type shoe

For any further questions please ask a member of staff.

At the moment we are in the process of photographing some students wearing the full new uniform, and we will display these around the school.

Lastly, and my apologies for raising a concern in only my second newsletter, but looking at the photos below I think you will understand why.

As you can see, by inappropriate parking some parents are putting our children’s safety at risk.  Parents with children in pushchairs have complained they actually have to walk on the road in order to access school. 

Inconsiderate parking causes other parents unnecessary stress when they cannot move their cars.

I ask that for you as well as for us the children’s health and safety be paramount.  Please support us in this matter.

I sincerely hope that we are going to have another highly successful academic year.

Your sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

Welcome back and I hope that you have enjoyed your summer. It has been an absolute pleasure to see you all again. The children have settled into their new classes and routines very quickly, there is an air of peaceful calm along the corridors throughout the day! Understandably, Nursery takes a little longer in the mornings at the moment!

I have especially enjoyed meeting you all again, and some for the first time, in our year group meetings. These have been very well-attended and a great first opportunity to build a relationship with your child’s class teacher. Please remember if you have any queries, no matter how small, always ask your child’s teacher or myself, either directly, via email or via the Homework Diary. Information from these meetings and further information for the year groups can be found on the Parent Portal.

All children have returned looking ‘Super Smart’ in their uniform and I’m sure you will agree that the new one looks amazing! It is a transition year for the uniform which means that you can gradually replace as your children grow. I take this opportunity to remind you that hair must be tied back and shoes must be black leather and not trainers.

As we continue to grow as a school it’s important that children are able to safely enter and exit the building at the start and end of the school day. With this in mind I ask that no parents congregate on the ramp beside the blue pitch, unless of course you are dropping your Year 1 or Year 2 child at the gate in the morning.

This year I am very pleased to welcome new teaching staff to our outstanding team:
Miss Georgina in Year 1 – Miss Amy, Teaching Assistant in Year 1 – Miss Fiona in Year 2 – Mr Hidden in Year 3 – Miss Shaw in Year 5 and Mr Mulligan, our Digital Learning Teacher.

On Monday I will be holding my Welcome Assembly at 9.15 h in the School Hall which of course you are more than welcome to attend. I would also like to remind you that the first PTA Coffee Morning will take place next Wednesday 11 September at 8:50 h in the KS1 dining hall and all parents are invited. Aloha College Marbella and the PTA will hold a Welcome Beach Party at Bono Beach in Elviria on Friday 27 September (starting at 18:30 h) and I hope to see many parents and children there! Tickets on sale from Monday.

I’m looking forward to a great year ahead and in the words of a Year 3 child this week: “I love being back at school…it’s soooo cool!”

Next week’s target is: RESPECT
Talk Homework: What did I enjoy most about my first week back at school?

Your sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

The first week of term has confirmed that we all needed routine. One would think that going back to school, after two months on holiday, would be rather tedious. Nothing could be further from the truth: your children have begun the year as if nothing has happened in the last eight weeks.We have had a smooth start!

The danger we now face is burning ourselves out through taking on too many activities. It is crucial to remember that in order to achieve a good balance in our daily lives we must rest our body and mind equally. The following example highlights this risk.

Students start their school day at 9:00 and, in many cases, finish well after 18:00. During that time they have had six classes, a break, lunch time, co-curricular activities and possibly an hour of sports. They come home and start homework. Finally they have dinner and go to sleep.

Since the time that we wake up, we should ask ourselves:
How much time do we spend each day alone, doing nothing? Noone around us, no mobiles and no noise.
How much time do we spend relaxing, trying to calm our thoughts?
How much time do we invest in exploring our emotions and how we can learn to feel better?

I am sure that the answer your children and even many teachers would give me to these questions would be: ‘Very little time’.

We don’t allow ourselves to spend time doing nothing. We look for constant entertainment, whether it’s with friends, social media, television or reading a book. We should be aware that being relaxed is just as important as being active.

From the moment you finish reading this letter, try to spend some time alone, in silence, focusing on your breathing. Just 15 minutes a day would be a good start.

I hope you have a good 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.