Dear Parents,

This is the penultimate newsletter for this academic year. Next week we will send a final goodbye letter. Where has this year gone? I remember my precious mother used to say “the older you get the quicker time seems to fly”, I know she was right.

When you all attend our Annual Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Friday 28 June, you will hear a recap of some of the events of this successful academic year.


As I say every year it is normal in an international school for staff to leave the college to have an opportunity to teach elsewhere or because they have reached the age of retirement. The Heads of each section of the school will tell you which staff are leaving from their area.

One special person I am going to talk about whose last Graduation assembly is next week is Fernando Cerezo, teacher of Historia in the Secondary School.

Fernando has been at Aloha College since 1983. In the 20 years I have had the privilege to work with Fernando, I have never heard a negative word come out of his mouth. He has always been firmly committed to the pupils, staff and parents of Aloha College. He is a genuine, kind, honest, caring human being.

On behalf of all of you the parents I thank Fernando for all his hard work, and wish him good health, and sincere happiness in his well-deserved retirement. We will all miss him.


This will take place on Friday 28 June at 10.00 h in the Arts and Sports Hall. Years 3 – 13 are expected to attend.

The Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children will finish school on Thursday 27 June. They will be issued with a school Yearbook and their reports on that day.

Years 3 – 13 pupils will receive their final printed reports following the Awards Ceremony.

No reports will be issued before your child’s final day so please refrain from requesting them earlier.

Further details regarding this events will be early next week.


This was a wonderful event celebrated yesterday. Year 6 performed a memorable assembly, the last before they venture into the Secondary School. This was followed by a lovely party here the children enjoyed water activities and eating! Parents enjoyed chatting about memories of their children’s time in the Primary School. What an amazing Year 6 we have, congratulations to them all.

As I complete my 20th year at Aloha College Marbella I look with pride at our wonderful school full of the best children and staff.

I sincerely thank you, the parents, for your full support throughout the academic year. I look forward to seeing you at the Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Friday 28 June.

Your sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

As we approach the final week of term I have been reflecting upon life in the Primary School this academic year. There are so many highlights springing to mind that I would need a book to recount them all! I then remembered a song that reminded me of when I was a young teacher and these words.

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride

To make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Many, many years later it is a pleasure to be part of such an amazing school where these words are a reality every day. A place where dedicated and caring teachers encourage children to be their best and the children respond by being positive and happy learners.

Yesterday Team Year 6 performed their Graduation Assembly to very proud parents and teachers. They have proved to be an excellent year group who exemplify what it means to ‘Be the Best’ they can be as they have matured and embraced all aspects of school life.
Find attached Mrs Salmon’s goodbye to them: Team Year 6 goodbye letter

At the end of the week we shall be saying goodbye to some of our excellent teachers who are either returning to the UK or moving on to pastures new around the world. Miss Claudia (UK), Miss Francesca (Thailand), Miss Heather (UK), Miss Shufflebottom (UK),  Miss Thorne (USA) and Miss Ralitsa (UK). Miss Lucy Atkinson will also be leaving for a short while as she is due to give birth to her first child in August. I am delighted and excited to have appointed new staff who are already preparing to join us in September. We shall send your child’s future teacher’s name in the normal communication in August.

I would like to remind you that next Thursday 27 June will be the last day of school this term for FS & KS1 children; they will receive a printed copy of their End-of-Year Report at the end of the school day. On Thursday all Primary children (FS-Y6) will take home a copy the Yearbook 2019.

I look forward to seeing all KS2 (Y3-4-5-6) parents and children at the Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Friday 28 June in the Sports Hall. All children must arrive at 9:00 h. After registration their teachers will take them to the Sports Hall. The ceremony will start at 10:00 h.

All Y3-6 children are expected to attend and they should wear their full smart uniform (including black shoes) on this day. The Year 6 students will formally graduate from the Primary School as part of the ceremony. Year 3-6 parents will receive a printed copy of their child’s Summer report at the end of the ceremony. This will be their last day of school this term. The school reports will also be available at some point on the Parent Portal (except for Foundation Stage, where printed copies only are issued).

Finally, thank you for being such wonderful supportive parents and I wish you all a Happy Holiday wherever you are in the world.

Your sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

I am sure you all recognise these lyrics:

“If I were a rich man, I would build a big, tall house with the rooms by the dozen, right in the middle of town”

The other day, a friend of mine reminded me that I am not a rich man, so what type of house was I going to build? Would it be tall and in the middle of town? He pointed out that all my answers when he asked me ‘how has this year gone for you?’ contained the conditional particle ‘if’:

  • If I had had more time, I…….
  • If this had not happened at that time….
  • If I had arranged things in a slightly different way……

Nobody knows what would have happened if I had had more time or arranged things in a slightly different way. It is, in a way, like saying that if I play chess for hours and hours everyday I can be as good as Kasparov; is that really how it works?

We should always focus on what ‘has been’ as opposed to what ‘could have been’. I wish I could go back to that conversation I had with my friend and answer the question with this in mind. This habit of thinking about the ifs continuously  is unproductive and also very exhausting.

From now on I will no longer be humming the song “If I were rich”.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ms Kellawan, Ms McCune and Mr Jonathan Oakes all the best in the future. They have been great assets to Aloha College.

I hope you have a good summer holiday.

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.