Parent Newsletter 19 June

Dear parents,

This is the final general newsletter of this academic year 2020/21.  Where has this year gone?  We all agree it has been a very difficult year for everyone in so many ways but, in true Aloha style, we came through with flying colours.

The fact that we are one of the few schools worldwide which has managed to remain open full-time for pupils’ face-to-face learning is a credit to our whole school community.  Our children’s wellbeing has been the most important thing for all of us.  Let us keep our last week of term happy and safe.

Mr Escobar and I would like to share a little of last week’s news from both sections of the college.

Primary News

Miss Eldred

We welcomed Miss Rebecca Eldred, our newly-appointed Primary Headteacher, to school on Wednesday.  She travelled from Dubai to meet all of the children and staff before she takes up her permanent position in September.  She came happy to school, and left even happier.

She was greeted by Nikita and Vera (Year 5PSM) under a huge “Welcome” banner designed by Miss Freeman’s class.

She said she was overwhelmed by the welcome, loved your children, and can’t wait for September.

Meeting the teachers

Yesterday, all our Primary children met the teachers whose class they will be in in September, and spent some time in their new classrooms.  This, we hope, will make all of them happy and less anxious about returning to school in September.

We had a lovely morning, the children were really excited.  Please ask your children about their experience!  Thank you to all the parents for their positive comments about this initiative – it is one we will repeat as it also helps you the parents prepare your children for the new academic year.

New sunshades in Foundation Stage

Parents, teachers and children were thrilled with the new shades which have just been fitted in the Early Years playground

Nursery children lend a hand

Our Nursery children helped the maintenance department make our mini-buses spick and span; they enjoyed every second and soaked themselves and their teachers with water and soapsuds!

Year 6 Graduation

During the last week of term we will be enjoying graduation assemblies by Year 6 pupils who will be moving into the Secondary section in September.  These will be exciting moments for all, although tinged with sadness, as the children look forward to the next stage of their learning journey.  Mums and Dads bring your tissues – you will be moved by what you see!

Trips – at last!

The children of Years 4, 5 and 6 enjoyed some trips outside school – the first time this academic year.  Their feedback revealed they had enjoyed every minute.  We have arranged special days next week for the rest of the Primary School.

Maths Certificates and Prizes

Mrs Fox Mansell is so proud to say that there has been some excellent Maths work going on in the Primary section this year.  A big well-done to all of the children who have been working hard on their online Maths activities.  Congratulations to all of the superstars mentioned below  who have played the most throughout the whole year! Keep up the good work over the summer holidays everyone! 

Earned the most coins in NUMBOTS: 

  • Year 1: Ivo Piwek, Celine Hagbo and Denis Zhukov

  • Year 2: Marvin Matter, Ali Allawi and Jenna Wahlroos

Collected the most coins in TTRS:

  • Year 2: Henry Howard, Youna Delavari and Emma Robb

  • Year 3: Neo Powell, Sara Alonso Garcia and Victor Heitz Veiga

  • Year 4: Soraya Rohayem El Khayati, Luis Fernando Fay Perez and Aurelia Howard

  • Year 5: Sergey Kononenko, Luca Leader and Lana El-Rais

  • Year 6: Yohan Le Courvennec, Alexey Ermolov, Luca Aragon van der Lely and Sandra Gajos

Collected the most stars in Doodle Maths:

  • Year 4: Meral Madi, Arseniy Dishdishyan and José Gutierrez Villafranca

  • Year 5: Carlos Gutierrez Coelho, Daniel OHayon Karlov and Honey Holmes

Played the most on Manga High:

  • Year 6: Elin Hoglund, Zlata Luchko, Yousef Toubah and Ruihang Yong


Secondary News 

Athletics Day

At the end of a very restrictive year for sport, it was fantastic to be able to provide the opportunity to our students to compete in a full athletics competition. Students have worked hard over the last 6 weeks during PE lessons to ensure they were able to perform to the best of their abilities on the day.  All students selected their preferred three disciplines from both track and field and went all out to get as many points as possible for their house. The track events were awesome with the relays stealing the show at the end with some very tight, hard -fought and close races. In the field events, there were some outstanding efforts and new records set along the way.

Congratulations to all our athletes who ran, jumped and threw for their respective houses. They were magnificent! Behaviour was once again exemplary and the standard of athletic performances was very high. Many athletes managed to set new personal bests which is fantastic and the PE department are immensely proud of their commitment and effort. We look forward to our next inter house sports day, hopefully under different circumstances.

Science fair

The annual Year 9 science fair was a resounding success as the students showed off their experimental skills, to create an engaging and quite literally, explosive event for the Aloha school community to enjoy. The students showed off their scientific research and inquiry skills in generating a wide variety of research questions from the many spheres of the science disciplines. The students were kept busy all morning with visits from the younger year groups and the chaperoning teachers, who tested the students’ knowledge with some tough questions, but received confident and expert explanations. Showcasing the knowledge and hard work that each team has invested in the science fair and making this year’s event really go off with a bang!

Y10 Art Workshop with Tom Bryne

Last week our year 10 IGCSE Art students took part in a virtual artist workshop with Florence-based painter 

Mr Tom Bryne. Tom is an Irish landscape painter who spoke inspirationally about his life and work in Italy and shared many helpful tips about Au Plein Air painting techniques. Our students were able to ask lots of questions and learn from a professional landscape painter. 

It was a very insightful workshop and the students finished the session motivated, equipped and eager to start their Summer Au Plein Air Art projects.

Here you can see two examples of Tom Bryne’s work

We also say goodbye to some children and families who are leaving us, mainly to return to their native countries.  We wish you success and happiness.

The following teachers are moving to pastures new:

Catherine Scott, Sarah Rutty and Fraser Shap

We thank them for their dedicated service and their commitment to your children.  We wish them every success and happiness in their new ventures.


Early notice that at the end of September we will be saying a sad farewell to Mrs Susan Robson de Morales (Registrar and Personal Assistant), who is retiring after 29 years of successful, dedicated, professional service to Aloha College Marbella.  I will be devoting a special newsletter to her in September.

Goodbye to Year 13

On Thursday 24 June we bid farewell to our Year 13 pupils.  They will enjoy a graduation ceremony with their parents present, immediately followed by the traditional “Prom” with just themselves and some teaching staff.

We hope they enjoy these events and keep them as happy memories of ACM.

Congratulations to all our graduating class of 2021.  We wish each and every one of you happiness, good health, and success.  Thank you for being the ambassadors of Aloha College Marbella.

Jeremy Albouhair Galache
Salvador Astolfi Núñez
Estelle Belaiche
Nicolás Benet Vincenti
Majdouline Berrada El Azizi
James Blackwell
James Chatland Lopez-Pozas
Alexandra Chikhacheva
Dante Ciambrelli Capizzi
Mencía de la Linde Martín
Chantal del Carmen Domínguez Bolshakova
Karim Fakhry Ortega
Janis Forstmanis
Juan García Rodríguez
Chiara Giannullo
Michelle Giesbers
Harald Hauke Arriola
Lauren Heath
Jiaxin Ji
David Kotovich
Adriana León Villares
Patricia Malagón Pérez
Charlotte Marin Finstad
Edward Martínez Saunders
Kasper Nilsson
Francesca Piscina
Alisa Polyak
Martín Ranea Marina
Sofía Rebossio Insua
Anna Elena Reisbeck
Lara Reynolds
Abigail Rosensverd Nilsson
Caio Simon
Aryamann Singh Jadon
Zachary Smythe
Lucas Solé Bravo
Evelina Stanikova
William Stead Infantes
Dexter Sylmé
Ablaikhan Tatishev
Angelina Tishchenko
Alisa Udaltsova
Sophia Unger Navarrete
Jacobus Van der ent
Matteo Vernuccio

End of school year

Please remember that the school closes for all pupils on Thursday 24 June at the normal times.

Francisco Escobar, Victor Ranea and myself thank you for your full support and wish you and your families a lovely last week in school and a wonderful, safe, happy, relaxed summer vacation.

Elizabeth Batchelor, Principal


Francisco Escobar, Head of 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.