Dear Parents,

What a day in store – our annual Christmas Bazaar!  As you read this Newsletter I hope that you are preparing to attend or are travelling to our Christmas Bazaar.  I know it is going to be another amazing day in the life of our Aloha College Marbella community. In next week’s newsletter I will prepare a summary of the event and share with you photos of some of the exciting activities of the day.  I hope we receive lots of money also for additional resources for your children. 

Here is a photo of Sasha, Year 3, whose mother Galina has donated lots of fabulous toys which you will be seeing this morning at the Bazaar.

Co-curricular programme

Our co-curricular programme is very important in the life of our wonderful school.  We try, with your help, to acknowledge our pupils’ successes outside of school. This week we congratulate Salvador Astolfi, Year 12, who last weekend won the “Gran Premio del CSN3*” at the Sotogrande Equestrian Club on his French mare “Roxane de la Beranger”.  This will help him qualify for next year’s European championships, to represent Spain. Salvador’s many years of dedication to horse riding have really paid off – well done, Salvador!

Secondly, we have 2 stars who are sisters – Sofia Axioti, Y7, and Mia Axioti, Y6, who came first and second respectively in the Malaga “Duatlon de Menores” (running and biking) last Sunday. I am extraordinarily proud of you both.

Sincere condolences

It is with great sadness that I inform you that 2 of our Primary pupils attended the funeral of their fathers during the last 2 weeks.  I am sure you will appreciate how difficult this must be for any person, but in particular for such young children. We offer our sincere support and condolences from our Aloha family to the children and mothers concerned.

Oxbridge candidates

The Year 13 pupils are busily making their choices for the universities they hope to attend in the future.  I am delighted to report that 4 of our pupils have been offered interviews at Oxford or Cambridge, two of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Emilio Hadjisotiriou – Biochemistry at Oxford
Jiaming Xiao – Architecture at Cambridge
Jieyi Yang – Computer Science at Cambridge
Olga Okhotinskaya- Human, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge

We wish them every success at their interviews.


Please may we ask you to be careful of how you dispose of your children’s old school uniform, as we do not want to see it being worn round Marbella by other people not connected with the school!  We have placed baskets on the ramp where you can dispose of any items that you no longer require. We will be sending old uniform to our charity school in Tanzania.

Thank you for your support in this matter.

School photos and sibling photos

All parents who have booked and paid for their childrens’ photos before Friday 29 November will receive them before Christmas.
If you would like to purchase your child’s photo pack (€17) you still have time; please leave a sealed envelope with the exact amount inside in Admin.  As the deadline for receiving them before Christmas was November 29, these photos will be delivered in January.
If you have booked sibling photos they will also be available for purchase on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December from 8:30 to 9:30 h – 1 photo 15 X 20, €6.


Here I am with all my male teachers displaying their Movember moustaches, see Mr Escobar’s letter for the winner!
Thank you to all the teachers and children who participated so empathetically in this initiative, now a tradition at Aloha College.

I hope you have a lovely day at the Bazaar and a wonderful Sunday.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

As you receive this newsletter the Christmas Bazaar is probably well under way and hopefully, our special guest, Father Christmas, has arrived. The children have been so excited and have really enjoyed playing their part in the preparation by providing the wall decorations. I’m sure they will enjoy finding theirs on the wall if they haven’t already!

Thank you so much to the PTA and its helpers for their endless efforts and commitment in preparing for today’s event. Thank you also to all parents and children who donated items and their support of this traditional Aloha family event. The Children’s Prize Draw will take place next Wednesday 4 December on the top pitch at 11:00 h.

I would like to remind you that next weekend is a long holiday followed by a week of concerts in the Primary School. You are invited to attend all, not just your child’s Key Stage. It is still important for your child to be attending school as normal lessons are continuing, therefore I need to remind you that any future absences are requested in writing using this form.

Y1-2 International Schools Basketball Competition
Selected Year 1 and 2 children competed in friendly basketball games with teams from Swans, EIC, BSM and St Anthony’s. The children displayed excellent team work and there were some superb displays of basketball skills! We are proud of all children and know they will go on to be great players in the future! Another successful event at ACM! For a taste of such a fantastic morning have a look at our video here.

 BE KIND poster- (Mina Tobal 1GFL)


Aloha Value Focus this half term – CARE
Personal Goal Target for December – COMMUNICATION

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

The theme for this newsletter has been on my mind for quite some time, as much as one year I would say. I blame our Head of English, Anthony Heath, for his inspirational approach towards a subject that  concerns us all: mental health, particularly men’s mental health.

It is not my intention to get into a debate on stereotypes; what I intend to do is raise awareness on mental health and highlight the importance of opening up when things do not go as well as one would hope.

Although less and less nowadays, we still live in a world full of misconceptions about male’s sensitivity. Masculinity and strength don’t tend to mix with the world of sensitivity and emotions. It seems that men are usually discouraged to display their feelings. Young boys who express them are immediately compared to girls in a negative context. How many times do we hear phrases such as “Boys don’t cry! – Man up! – Don ́t cry like a girl! – Be a man, get over it!”? I certainly have lost count!

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.  At our school, we want our students to understand that good mental health is important at all stages of life, from childhood through to adolescence and adulthood. This month there has been a buzz of activities relating to mental health, all with the aim of encouraging our students to talk and prioritise their emotional well-being. 

In PSHE lessons, students focused on body image, building resilience and coping with emotions. Shauna Gibson, an eating psychology coach, was brought in to speak to Key Stages 3,4 & 5 about body image and the effects of dieting. 

You might have noticed a number of our male teachers and students sporting interesting looking moustaches this month, clearly not for aesthetic reasons!  The aim of Movember is to raise awareness of men’s mental health, throughout the month of November. Our sixth form students attended a talk by Anthony Heath on men’s mental health followed by a Q&A with a group of male teachers on tips for self care. Next month, we will be running our third annual Wellbeing Day for our Year 13 students. 

Our mental health month might have ended, but our focus on mental health awareness has not. As your children spend most of their day at school, it is important that together we continue to raise awareness, educate them and give them the necessary tools to open dialogue about their mental health.  That way, your children will be better equipped to deal with the challenges and difficulties that life may bring.  

Your children have voted for the best teacher’s mustache. I am delighted to announce that our winner is:

Mr Domingo Morillas, History Teacher.

I hope you have  a nice weekend.


Yours sincerely,

Francisco Escobar

Headteacher, Secondary

One subject is chosen from each of the following groups:

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

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

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.