Parent Newsletter 20 June

Dear parents,

I hope you enjoyed your very long Feria weekend even though there were no Ferias!!

I cannot believe I am writing the last newsletter for this academic year – what a year!! But we have all made it safely through and Aloha College Marbella looks forward to opening its doors to all its pupils on 31 August 2020. Next week, following the Junta de Andalucia’s guidance, I will share with you our definite plans for re-opening for the first half-term, to be reviewed at the end of October for the following half-term,  2 November to the Christmas holiday.

All of our plans have been centred around the safety of, first, your children and, secondly, staff and you the parents. I am certain some you will like, and some you may not appreciate but I am confident that you will all understand and support our thinking and planning.

Year 13
Next Friday 26 June we will celebrate with a very small restricted audience a mini-graduation ceremony for our Year 13 pupils.  It is an opportunity to thank them for all the determination and resilience they have demonstrated during the last 2 years.  The loss of a close friend, the cancellation of their exams and a global pandemic have all been issues they have had to face.  There is no doubt that whatever their future holds they will be strong enough to cope with every hurdle. Congratulations, Graduating Class of 2020. You have our deepest respect and we all wish you good health, success and happiness.

Year 6 pupils
Please don’t forget, we shall celebrate a Year 6 Graduation Party in September, plans are underway, we told you – we haven’t forgotten you!

Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils
Thank you to you for all returning your textbooks according to our instructions.

Sporting Awards
Another 2 events we were unable to celebrate onsite were the Sports Award Assemblies for Primary and Secondary.  But we have still wanted to share with parents another superb year of sport and Mr Toal and his PE department have prepared videos which highlight the major sporting successes of the year.   We have celebrated students’ individual performances with Awards of Merit and the ACFC and ACBC prizes. Secondary parents will have already enjoyed theirs; however,  Primary parents will have to hold their breath for the release of theirs on Monday!! Congratulations yet again to Mr Toal and his great PE department!  

Goodbyes in Primary
At the end of the school year we sadly say goodbye to some of our teaching staff,although  this academic year there are few.

We would like to say thank you to Mary Salt, Primary teacher, for her 24 years service at Aloha College. Mary is now going to enjoy a well-earned retirement. On behalf of you all, we wish Mary good health, happiness and enjoyment in the future.


Sadly we say goodbye to Billy Wakefield and Ami Shaw, Year 5 teachers – they will leave Aloha College to return to the UK. In their short time here they have made a great impression on many of your children.  We wish both of them every success in the future. It is quite by chance they are all our Year 5 teachers – there is nothing sinister about this, just sheer coincidence !!!!


We also have to say goodbye to Sebastian Perea, PE teacher, who is venturing out into something new. Sebastian has been with us for 8 years. Thank you, Sebastian, for your great work.
You will be sorely missed .

Despite the global Pandemic I have still managed to recruit some excellent new staff for the next academic year, I will introduce them to you in September .

Hot off the Press
Congratulations to Miss Kate, Head of Key Stage 1, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Thursday evening.

End-of-Term arrangements
On Friday 26 June at midday all online teaching will end for this academic year. School reports will be posted on the parent portal during the afternoon of 26 June. Enjoy reading them!

Online shopping
Our new online shopping facility will be available from the end of July (more details to follow). You will have the opportunity to purchase your child’s new uniform. Please note that all pupils will be expected to return on 31 August wearing the full new school uniform. The actual shop will be open in August to return uniform that does not fit or to purchase additional items.  Opening hours will follow.

Yearbook 2020
You will also receive the Yearbook in digital format next weekend so you can enjoy every moment of our sharing of the school year. Please note that some traditional photos e.g. Year 13 Prom, summer educational trips, sporting events etc will be missing or limited due to the pandemic.

I have no doubt you will still enjoy it, though. Thank you to all the parents who sponsored our Yearbook.

Thank You
Sadly,  we are unable to celebrate a full traditional Graduation and Awards ceremony where I always have the opportunity to express my personal thanks to the following people.

I wish to thank you, the parents, for your continued support throughout this academic year – you have all been amazing. I thank all my wonderful staff for their hard work and commitment to your children. I thank my managers, Victor Ranea, Kathy Salmon and Francisco Escobar for successfully leading their sections of the school. I thank the administration staff for all their great work behind the scenes to support teaching and learning.

I personally thank Susan Robson, my PA, and Maria Galvez, my Human Resources Manager, for their advice, support and professionalism. I thank Rosa Gómez, Chair of Board, who gives endless free time and energy supporting the needs of the whole school and indeed me personally. Finally, I thank the full Board of Trustees for their commitment and support to your children.

Much as I am looking forward – like everyone – to a break, I can’t wait to greet you and your children as you come through our doors again on 31 August 2020.

It is a privilege to be the Principal of this wonderful school and I hope I have served you and your children well.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful, safe summer. 

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

It seems such a strange way to end our school year but the good news is the challenges of the last few months will soon be behind us. There has been a lot to reflect upon this year! Firstly, congratulations to all of our Aloha team for really pulling together since the sudden news last March that the school doors would need to close for a while. The children have been truly amazing during their Distance Learning lessons especially when you are so young and don’t really understand what is happening. You as Parents have been facing many personal challenges in addition to home school learning and I thank you for the many messages of support. It was also interesting to hear some of you actually enjoyed the lessons as much as the children!

Team Year 6 are finishing their Primary Years with us this week. I have watched them mature from a distance this last term and they have shown they have the maturity to move onto Year 7 and the next chapter in their learning journey. However, I’m looking forward to meeting up again in the Autumn when we have something special planned to celebrate their Graduation. No escape yet Year 6!

What doesn’t change is that at the end of every school year we need to say goodbye to some of our community. This is a really sad part of the end of this academic year as I cannot say it in person. If you and your children are moving on I hope that you remember ACM Primary with fond memories and I wish your children every success in their new schools.

We also need to say goodbye to Miss Mary as she retires and Miss Shaw, Mr Wakefield and Don Sebastian who are about to embark on new ventures in their careers. We shall miss you all and we hope you keep in touch.

The good news is that we are already busily preparing to open our doors again in August ready for the start of the new academic year. I can’t wait!!!!

In the meantime we have one final week in school and we are going to start on Monday morning with our Primary Virtual Sports Awards Assembly. Some Primary children have been recognised for their sporting achievement during the school year by the Aloha College PE Department. They will receive special awards during a video assembly starting at 9:15 h on Monday 22 June. A link will be posted on your child’s Google Classroom. During the week the teachers have also planned some special end-of-term activities which we are all looking forward to.

I wish you and your families a healthy and happy Summer and we will all be ready and waiting to welcome you back on Monday 31 August.

NSCCU Luca Edwards, NSERI Victor Warngren
RCEMA  Raphael Nijmeh, RCJSTKai Rong
1KED Daniel Sowada, 1MTI  Mark Vsiakikh, 1LHO Mina Tobal
2LT  Pearl Eddison, 2ARS Sacha Bittan, 2FFO Ezel Esen
3EK Polina Zhukova, 3JCH Joel Rébora Song, 3ESE Valeria Praslova
4ITA Fred Chamizo, 4ES Annie Herráez Alonso, 4SJD Sofia Davison Violina   
5MAS Andrey Kukusta, 5ASH Sofia Kalkamanova, 5BWA Laura Eggens
6PSM Panna Tátrai-Monostori, 6WA Roberta Tye, 6CST Mia Axioti

Srta Encarnita: NS Charlie Stoneman, RC Lucy Matthews, Y1 Daniel Sowada, Y2 Ana Giulia Sirejacob, Y3 Simon Warngren
Srta Rosa: NS Manuel Méndez Torres, RC Pablo García Eisele, Y1 Alejandro Fernández González, Y2 Sacha Bittan, Y3 Max Wu
Don David: Y2 Gia Franklin-Pellegrino, Y3 Denis Kalkamanov, Y4 Annie Herráez Alonso
Srta Laura: Y2 Isabella Spain, Y3 Inés Fernández González, Y4 Adriana Rosas Olmos
Srta Antoinette: Y4 Ruben Cartwright, Y5 Gamzat Muduev, Y6 Savannah Rodoni
Srta Sylvia: Y4 Vega Reinhard, Y5 Kai Santegoeds, Y6 Maia McDermott
Srta Ana: Y5 Beatriz Salvador Chávez, Y6 Chloe Rubio Subiris
Don Diego: Y5 Elena Fajardo Ventaja, Y6 Constanza Plaza de Barutell

PE AWARD CERTIFICATES – For outstanding commitment to At Home PE
Matias Gil Manolitsis NSCCU, Santiago Alvarez Rivera RCEMA, Jenna Wahlroos 1KED, Yasmine Sharif 3JCH

Ogrzewalski, Artur in 3ESE – Artur has made an outstanding effort with his online learning all term. Especially with his IPC tasks, which he has had to complete independently. He has been extremely thoughtful when completing his work, to ensure it is  interesting and well presented. Mrs Salmon and Miss Selmes are very proud of him.

Aloha Value – THOUGHTFULNESS                        
Personal Goal – ADAPTABILITY

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

Public recognition of our qualities is called honour. For example, an honourable person is known for their good deeds. I have plenty of examples of good deeds done by our students. However, I would like to go further:

What drives us to perform such good deeds? 

One of the reasons that motivated me to do these good deeds during my school days was simply to have the approval of others and to be more popular. I knew that all my classmates would talk about what I had done and that made me feel good about myself. I liked the idea of being part of the cool gang at school; something that I never managed to achieve, by the way!

I was looking for easy recognition and instant fame, ignoring the fact that this didn’t provide emotional stability. I probably suffered from low self-esteem, something that often happens amongst teenagers.

The issue with having low self-esteem is that it won’t go away by the time you finish reading this letter. It is something that you learn to overcome throughout your life: what actions are worth investing a lot of time in. Once we start focusing on ourselves our natural qualities develop, allowing us to tackle those areas that perhaps we haven’t always perceived as a strength. 

We must begin by looking at the things that make us stand out from the crowd, appreciating how special we are for having such virtues, attitudes and skills. This is where we discover our strengths and weaknesses, those that make us who we are and that others look for in us. The true value of our life lies in what we think of ourselves and not in what others think of us. The recognition of others is of course great and we should not fail to appreciate it.

When one has good self-esteem, one is able to bring out the best in oneself. You can also make people around you feel valued and therefore have more confidence in themselves. 

Never underestimate the importance of loving and accepting yourself.

I hope you have a nice weekend.

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.