Dear Parents,

Another busy week has passed with lots of action and more successes.

As I said in last week’s newsletter the Year 13 pupils are receiving some excellent offers from the best universities.  In the past not many of our students have gone on to study medicine.  We have waited on tenterhooks to hear if our Head Girl, Rosie Rainer, would be offered a place to study medicine. Yesterday we received the great news that she has been offered a place at Brighton and Sussex Medical School if she achieves 36 points at IB.

I’m so proud of all our pupils!


We welcome back Miss Bronagh (Primary PE teacher) after an absence from school.


Before the holidays, the managers and I enjoyed a Christmas lunch with the winners of the student’s Prize Draw.  It was an exceedingly noisy event.


On Friday 25 January we hold our next charity day which has been proposed by many pupils and staff, this is for someone very close to home!! Our Y12 pupil Miriam Martín Méndez explains below:

Recently in Marbella there was a serious case of Meningococco, a very dangerous disease. On 23 July, Sarah Almagro Villarejo picked up a meningococco, which caused her a sepsis (blood poisoning) and multi-organic collapse. She was on a vital critical list for 5 days and in coma for 10 days. During the first 72 hours, she was given some medications which saved her life, but in the process caused serious damage to her vascular system.  This resulted in her having to have her lower arms and legs amputated. She also has serious damage to her kidneys, but they hope that in time they will recuperate their functions. She is currently going to dialysis. 

She now needs to buy expensive prostheses to be able to get her life back on track, these prostheses are intelligent prostheses which will be connected directly to her brain so that she can get full mobility of the missing limbs. Her mum got in contact with a foundation called “Somos tu ola” that now follows the motto #PALANTECONSARAH. 

Carrying out this event would help raise awareness against issues like this, which is so important.

Thank you, Miriam. We invite all pupils and staff to pay a minimum of 3 euros for the privilege of wearing non-uniform.  This amount will include a bracelet to support the campaign.

We thank you in advance for your support on this very important matter.


We welcome 3 qualified teachers from the University of South Wales.  They will spend a month in the Primary School completing research and teaching – please give them the Aloha welcome.

On my journey to school in the mornings I listen to a daily reflection on the local radio.  Yesterday’s message reminded everyone about the importance of recognising good in people and of surrounding yourself with positive people.  As Mr Escobar says in his section below, in a school like ours where we have such a multitude of nationalities and diversity, it is important we live up to the Aloha values of respect for others.  We also need to ensure our children are positive and kind.

I am so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful children, parents, and positive staff, thank you.

Have a lovely weekend.

Yours sincerely,



Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

Thank you for the high levels of attendance at our recent parents’ meetings. The feedback once again has been very positive but if you still have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact either myself or the Head of Key Stage.

Mrs Kathryn Salmon –             KS1 (Y2-3): Miss Liz Keys –
KS2 (Y4-5-6): Mr Peter Smith –    FS (NS-RC) & Y1: Miss Kate Edwards –

Our “Stay & Play” session for Foundation Stage parents on Thursday once again reminded all of us the importance of instilling a care of learning in our children from a very young age. The children proudly showed their parents how to work in a team, choose the right resources and make independent decisions. An excellent life skills to build on for the future. As a recent prospective parent commented when they finished their tour of the Primary School: “This is perfect, we see happy children challenged in their learning and motivated. We see children being children”.

Finally, I am so pleased to welcome back Miss Bronagh following her absence last term.

Next week’s target: RESILIENCE
Talk Homework: What is it like being a child in 2019? What was it like for your parents?

Your sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

“America’s government remains shut down, as Democrats refused to fund Donald Trump’s wall on the Mexican border” and “Theresa May was defeated over her Brexit deal last Tuesday”

Not a day passes without headlines such as those above in newspapers, online, radio or television on issues that encourage separation. It is evident that some governments firmly believe that without multicultural diversity and unity things can work. I, however, could not disagree more- it looks like we have gone backwards, from inclusion to division.

Fortunately, you only need a couple of minutes’ wander around the corridors in the College to realise how much can be achieved as a result of working together. I can give you plenty of examples which demonstrate this.

Mrs Palmer’s push on the Eco project has been a great success. As you read this newsletter, many pupils and staff are taking part in the beach clean around the Puerto Deportivo de Marbella today. In the same way, Ms Turner and all staff in the Mathematics department are planning an International Competition on 5th, 6th and 7th April 2019, which will bring hundreds of students from all around the world to Aloha College. The Pupil Voice committee, led by our Head Students, meets regularly to discuss school issues and come up with new ideas to move our College forward. The list of activities in which students work as a team is endless.

Diversity and working collaboratively are essential tools to grow. Over 55 nationalities from different backgrounds study together in our school from 9am to 4pm every day. Although there are plenty of disagreements and differences, I can say with the utmost pride that, together, we have created an environment of trust, respect and tolerance in our community.

It makes me sad when I see that, in the 21st century, the world still boasts about building walls and separating people. Perhaps Aloha College can give some advice to those who are unclear about the advantages of a close and diverse community.

I hope you have a wonderful 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.