Parent Newsletter 23 May

Dear parents,

The Spanish sunshine is now back with a vengeance, probably making it more difficult for your children to concentrate on their online learning; however, please continue to support them as well as you are.

Covid Nº 6 Update
I hope that you all had time to read my update on the school’s preparation for re-opening. I will continue to inform you as regularly as possible.

Year 11
I talked in last week’s newsletter about our Year 13 pupils and, I reiterate, we are determined to do everything within our power to give them a glorious graduation from Aloha College. Watch this space! 

This week I want to remind all of you that our Year 11 pupils have also experienced the cancellation of their public IGCSE examinations.  They have continued with their learning despite this, by attending a special programme designed by Mr Roth.  Congratulations to all the pupils who have embraced this project and will continue with their preparations to enter the Sixth Form until the last day of this academic year.

Year 11’s, we salute you.  The staff are busily working on ensuring all evidence of your work is collated in line with the requirements of the Cambridge International Examinations Board.  We all want to ensure you achieve the grades you truly deserve. We hope to see all of you back into Year 12 as stronger, committed and experienced Aloha students.  Thank you for taking on board this new set of circumstances and dealing with this challenge with such good cheer and aplomb.  Just think – unlike the Year 13’s you still have 2 more years of “Batchelor”.

Assessments and online use in general
In this day and age cyber security is paramount and pupils, especially Secondary, need to ensure their passwords are secure. Pupils use passwords which are sometimes easily guessed by others. We recommend that they change their current passwords in order to avoid third parties accessing their accounts.   If you are unsure, please contact the relevant Head of Key Stage.

Normal life goes on behind the scenes:  we are recruiting new students for September – in spite of the current uncertainty, many families want to join Aloha College. We are also working hard on the Yearbook so that children do  not miss out on this valuable commemoration of the 19/20 academic year.

ACM Covid19 KM Challenge Update
After making it walking, running and cycling from NYC to Hollywood, we are now on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean 6,000 Kms off the coast of LA and 4,000 Kms away from Tokyo, our next destination!

Online Learning
Parents continue to support us at home – here you can see Hugo Chen, Year 1, making his own plasticine in case he needs some later. And Sophie Hurley, RC, is busy building bridges, in preparation for a career in diplomacy perhaps!

Reading Stories

After spending all day in front of a computer screen, I would love these 2 pupils to help me relax by reading me a bedtime story! Please enjoy these videos:

Kadir reading  –   Matthew reading

What a lucky dog in Matthew’s house!

Karate achievement
We will have to wait for next week to find out how well Zeyn Mohamdi,Year 2, does in the final of his online international karate competition.  He has continued his training throughout lockdown and I am so proud of his perseverance and the fantastic level he has reached in such a short time.  Well done, Zeyn!

I wish you and your families a lovely, safe, weekend.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

It has been another busy week of learning and I have once again been impressed by the children’s attitudes in my virtual visits to the classrooms.

The Summer Term is always an exciting time for Year 6 as it is their last term in the Primary School. Sadly we can’t be together in school at the moment but the Year 6 teachers are continuing to prepare the children for their move to Secondary School. Next week, Team Year 6 will be involved in a Virtual Transition Week. They will take part in live, online lessons with Secondary teachers through Google Classrooms and be able to experience the expectations of the next steps of their Learning Journey. As I say, exciting times and something I know the children are looking forward to.

In my Monday morning message I asked the children to think about being part of a team and to go ‘above and beyond’ to gain house points for their team and to take time to show respect and kindness to each other. Find my video message here

In a normal school year we all look forward to our Interhouse Sports Days when the children and parents enjoy taking part in team sports events together. In the community spirit of Aloha we are determined not to let school closure stop this going ahead. Next Friday 29 May we will celebrate the ACM Olympic Family Sports Day and all families are invited to participate and enjoy 10 challenges of the ‘Decathlon’ Event. It is a House occasion so remember to wear your House t-shirts and to take some photographs of your family. You will see a link in google classrooms to access the challenges and submit your family totals. Please watch the video for more details and don’t worry you don’t need a big garden just lots of socks and toilet rolls!


Weekly overviews and Summer 2 Curriculum Outlines
Yesterday you will have received the Curriculum Weekly Overview for your child for next week (25-29 May). 
On the Parent Portal you can also access your child’s learning for the next half term (Curriculum Outlines, Summer 2).


NSCCU Matías Gil Manolitsis, NSERI Stella Sjöberg
RCEMA Timofei Krivitskii, RCJST Damien Mark
1KED Adrian Ghaffari Ghazi Said, 1MTI Taisiia Krivitskaia, 1LHO Catalina Abrisqueta Tome
2LT Roxane Bourasseau, 2ARS Zayn Müller, 2FFO Blake Doyle
3EK Ben Larbi Doncel-Moriano, 3JCH Olivia Jimeno Sellitri, 3ESE Shantal Keijzer Serrano
4ITA Scarlett Zagozdzon, 4ES Amira Bensouda, 4SJD Elena Lalovic   5MAS Mara García García, 5ASH Mia Kinahan, 5BWA Adriana Lezama Leguizamon Fernandez De Villaviciencio
6PSM Alejandra Ayora Sierra, 6WA Fraser Squires, 6CST Ilya Zhukov Kovrikov

Srta Encarnita: NS Dario Kalantari-Nazari, RC Siobhan Cohen Martínez, Y1 Adrian Ghaffari Ghazi Said, Y2 Ingrid Lemberg, Y3 Ruotong Gong
Srta Rosa: NS Alexandra Zoueva, RC Santiago Álvarez Rivera, Y1 Ananda Corderas De la Cuesta, Y2 Blake Doyle, Y3 Aurelia Howard
Don David: Y2 Matías Llorente Sucha, Y3 Polina Zhukova, Y4 Vera Luna Kara
Srta Laura: Y2 Alessandro Sundberg Delgado, Y3 Blanca Sánchez Valenzuela, Y4 Karun Corderas De la Cuesta
Srta Antoinette: Y4 Libby Worthington, Y5 Boaz Rodenburg, Y6 Fraser Squires
Srta Sylvia: Y4 Boldi Tatrai Monostori, Y5 Richard Laizan, Y6 Leonie Reisbeck
Srta Ana: Y5 Selma Achabbak, Y6 Panna Tátrai-Monostori
Don Diego: Y5 Alba Sofía Olivo Campos, Y6 Alejandra Ayora Sierra

PE AWARD CERTIFICATES – For outstanding commitment to At Home PE
Isabella Kemp NSCCU, Tyler Kemp RCEMA, Fred Chamizo 4ITA, Omar Faiq 3JCH  

Emma Sánchez García, 3ESE – Emma worked really hard with her IPC work on shadows, at the end of last week.She is also making a real effort with all her online learning. Mrs Salmon and Miss Emily are very proud of her!

House points results here.

Aloha Value – RESILIENCE                         

Personal Goal – ADAPTABILITY

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

There’s a famous Spanish song called ‘Who cares’. I am sure that many of you who are reading this letter have memories of having sung it at some point in your lives. I encourage those who do not know this popular Spanish pop song to listen to it before you continue to read this week’s reflection.

Do we really not care about what others think of us?

Solomon Asch’s famous experiment demonstrates perfectly how the pressure exerted by what the majority thinks, makes us doubt and even change our minds. The experiment consisted of asking several students about the length of some lines drawn on cards: which was the longest and the shortest line? All the students, except one, were accomplices of Solomon Asch, and the aim was to confuse the subject of the experiment by offering clearly incorrect answers. You can see the experiment here.

Another example which supports this type of behavior happened right at the beginning of the state of emergency caused by Covid-19. One of the products that disappeared from supermarket shelves was toilet roll. Social networks were inundated with images of people filling their shopping trolleys- mainly with toilet rolls. I remember myself going to the supermarket to buy toilet rolls just because I saw others doing it.

Going back to the song I was talking about before, it seems clear that we, of course, care about what people think or say about us; we even stop doing something for fear of what others might say. I’m not an expert in this field, but it is clear that  this type of behavior is often caused by lack of self-esteem and assertiveness. If we have confidence in ourselves, learn to say ‘no’ and set limits, we won’t be as badly affected by the disapproval of others. 

An important step towards overcoming what others may think of us is to accept that it is impossible to be liked by everybody or for everybody to think like us. In many situations in our lives, criticism is inevitable. The key is to take this criticism for what it is: just another point of view.

I think that the most important thing is to always act according to our own principles. We must practise what makes us feel good and allows us to be confident about the small and large decisions that we make in our lives.

I hope you have a good 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.