PARENT NEWSLETTER (18 – 22 NOVEMBER)

Dear Parents,

“Be Kind” Week

Thank you for encouraging your children and providing them with odd socks on Tuesday. Despite the serious message behind it, the day brought a lot of laughter as pupils displayed the brightest array of coloured socks.



The most embarrassing moment of the day was when I stopped to fill up with petrol on the way home and couldn’t understand why I was receiving so much attention. A red dress with one pink and one maroon sock is not really considered “Marbella fashion”!

This was just one part of our “Be Kind” week, when many pupils have gone beyond their daily acts of kindness and care and have really excelled in their efforts to make someone happy. Thank you, Aloha pupils, you are the best.

Thank you to Miss Verinder who is coordinating all the activities.

Christmas Bazaar

I know you are receiving a stream of communications regarding this event, but I would ask you to please play your part in supporting it.

Thank you to the parents who have already donated bottles, chocolates and small gifts.

If any parent would like to donate a prize for the raffle, please don’t be shy. Enormous thanks must go to Mrs Galina Rass, parent of Sasha in Year 3, for already donating some wonderful new and exciting toys which the children will love.

Parents, please get involved in the preparation of this marvellous event.

With great sorrow

It is with great sadness that I share with you that 2 Primary children have been affected by the loss of their fathers recently. To those children, their mothers and their family, Aloha College Marbella offers its deepest condolences. Please keep them in your thoughts.

Food-tasting and survey

Some parents replied to our invite to sample our school lunches and have been busy providing us with feedback. A survey will be sent shortly to all of you to give your opinion on the food service provided for your children.

We will also be sending all parents a short survey to hear your opinion about what the school does well and what you think we might be able to do better. We value your comments to support us in continuing to make our school the best.

Parents’ Consultation Evenings

There has been excellent support for recent parent consultation evenings giving you feedback on how your child is progressing. It is important that parents attend these meetings.

Morning Drop-off System

Thank you for your supportive comments regarding the additional drop-off point in the mornings. Overall punctuality figures have improved dramatically.

Have a wonderful weekend with your families.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor

Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Congratulations to Year 2 for providing us with a very energetic reminder of ‘The Aloha Way’ of BEING KIND in their Monday’s assembly. They reminded us all that this is not just the way we should be in school but also with those less fortunate in the community.

This theme of community awareness continued when KS2 children were shown a video of the setting up of a school for homeless children in Tanzania called ‘Centre of Hope’, a project in which one of our parents Mrs Veronika Tye played an active part. In this spirit of kindness our children have been writing letters to these children to show they care.
Iana De La Paz Chikhacheva in 4ES deserves a special mention as the very next day she had produced an illustrated dictionary as in her own words “I wanted to help them with their English”.

Of course we are not kind for one week only so as a symbol of this all of the children have been writing kind messages on paper hearts that have become leaves on our Learning Tree. Children have also been painting ‘Be Kind’ pebbles to be placed under the Tree for the rest of the academic year. This was great fun and the younger children really enjoyed being helped by Y12 students. Many thanks to: Adriana Leon, Alexandra Chikhacheva, Alisa Polyak, Anastacia van den Broek, Angelina Tishchenko, Chantal Dominguez, Charlotte Marin, Chiara Giannullo, Danielle Murdoch-Smith, Evelina Stanikova, Francesca Piscina, Inez Adamovic, Izabelle Fedyanova, Jiaxin Ji, Lauren Heath, Majdouline Berrada and Michelle Giesbers.

As part of the BE KIND CAMPAIGN and to raise awareness of ANTI-BULLYING, on Tuesday 12 November we also held an ODD SOCKS DAY where children wear bright, wacky, odd socks.

IPC Years 3 and 4 (MP2) Reminder: children are learning about different types of materials. We will be using these for our IPC entry point next Tuesday and Wednesday. We still need materials please (not just fabrics). We would appreciate anything like old keys, coins, sea shells, broken costume jewellery, plastics, tree bark, string, rope, cardboard etc. 

Aloha Value Focus this half term –   CARE
Personal Goal Target for November -THOUGHTFULNESS

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

I am sure you have heard the story of the chained elephant. It encourages us to be brave and question those unconscious fears that have been with us for years. We sometimes tend to hold on to our negative experiences, stopping us from trying new things. I hope you enjoy reading this short story.

A very playful, curious, and funny child lived in a small town. His parents had a farm and he considered all animals to be his friends. The chickens, ducks, pigs, and cows were his playmates. He spoke to them as if they could understand him. One day, a gigantic circus arrived at their town. This little boy had never seen a circus before. Everybody at school was talking about it. They all said that they were going to go to the circus after school. They wanted to see how they put up the tent and how they set everything up for the big circus.

The child’s parents agreed to take him to the circus. The boy was very excited. He couldn’t sleep on Saturday night knowing that the next day he would see the show that interested him so much. As soon as the sun rose, he got out of bed. Time passed slowly until it was finally time to go.

The boy was so fascinated that, at the end of the show, he decided to go to the back to see the artists with their wonderful animals. He walked with his parents to the back of the circus and he saw that the animals were in cages. The elephant, however, was outdoors. The boy approached the elephant and saw that someone had chained one of its legs to a stake on the ground. The animal wasn’t moving at all.

The boy asked his parents why the circus people had chained the elephant. They replied, “So he doesn’t run away.” “So he doesn’t run away? He could run away if he wanted to!” replied the boy. For the boy, the chain and stake weren’t obstacles for the elephant. The boy then asked his parents, “Why doesn’t he run away then?” His parents shrugged their shoulders and couldn’t give him an answer.

The next day, he asked his science teacher the same question. She gave him a blunt response, “He doesn’t run away because he’s trained”. The child understood that although the animal was quite big now, it was once very small. When it was small, someone tied one of its legs to a chain and a small stake. The boy imagined how much the baby elephant probably fought to release the chain without getting hurt or getting into trouble.

The boy understood that the elephant didn’t realise how big and strong it was when it grew up. The elephant only remembered being a small elephant fighting against a chain and stake that wouldn’t budge. This is why, although it could now free itself, it no longer tried. To the elephant, the memory of that impossibility in the past was stronger than the real possibility of the present.

As Sergio Sinay says: “When attachment has no more reason than habit and there’s no purpose that gives meaning and transcendence, it’s time to let go”.

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.