PARENT NEWSLETTER (25 – 29 MAR)

Dear Parents,

Thank you for some good feedback on our newsletters, this spurs us on and is a good way to help us continue to improve.

FOOTBALL

I was working quietly in my office when the U13 girls’ football team burst through the door. And why?

Because they are Costa Del Sol Champions!

The girls were undefeated on their route to the final and beat BIC 3-0 to claim yet another trophy for Aloha, maintaining a 100% record of victories for the school in all competitions this year.

Even more pleasing however was the effort and behaviour of all of our players throughout the entire day:  they worked extremely hard and showed total respect for the opposition and the referees.

Well done to a very proud PE team!

SUMMER SCHOOL

Our annual Summer School will take place from 8 to 26 July. Please enrol your children if you wish – we aim to introduce quite a few creative initiatives into Summer School 2019, so watch this space!

NOTICE OF LEAVING

If any parent thinks there is even a possibility their child may not return to Aloha College in September, could they please contact the Registrar, Mrs Susan Robson de Morales.

RECRUITMENT OF STAFF

In all international schools, teachers come and go annually. Aloha teachers also leave us, either to return to the UK or to move further afield for a new challenge. I am currently busily recruiting staff for next academic year.

It is very rewarding when, despite a teacher shortage, excellent teachers are still attracted to teach at our prestigious college.

What has been interesting is why they want to come to Aloha College: a key factor is that the college is a charitable trust, a Foundation.  Teachers want to see that the fees you the parents pay are invested back into the school and enhance the teaching and learning by providing excellent resources and facilities. I spend a great deal of interview time talking about your children: good teachers want to teach, they don’t want to waste their time having to discipline ill-mannered children. I clearly tell all candidates your children are the best! And I will continue to be very busy trying to ensure we recruit only the best for them.

Excellent teachers also want to be kept up to date with in-service training and as you are aware, we as a college place great emphasis on keeping all our staff up to date.

WELCOME BACK ANAÏS

Anaïs Delaire, teacher of French in Secondary, returned to school last week after completing her maternity leave.  We hope she didn’t miss baby Javier too much!

SOLIDARITY

Our next Charity Day will be on 4 April.  The cause was proposed to us by an alumnus, Christian Knaup, – it supports young people with mental health issues.   More details will follow in my next newsletter.

ACFC

It is good to see some excellent results coming in from our football teams, who play most weekends, including a 6:2 win for the Benjamin team against Vazquez Cultural last Friday. Well done to all our players and coaches.

ACBC

It’s the same story with our basketball teams; they have had some superb results. Last Sunday our girls’ team played in the NBA Junior League – look at their skills.

Have a lovely weekend with your families.

Your sincerely,

 

 

Elizabeth Batchelor

Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Well done to Year 4 on Monday who reminded parents and children alike the true meaning of the three R’s:  REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE and of the disastrous consequences for our seas and wildlife if we don’t. We have always been proud to call our Earth “The Blue Planet” because of its beauty and rich seas and oceans. I remember being in Primary School myself as a child learning about the damage humans are inflicting on plants and wildlife through thoughtlessness. How sad is it then that decades later and generations of children later, the message is the same but sadly the damage has increased. Congratulations again Year 4 for reminding us of what WE can all do to help. If you missed the assembly click here for a taste of the children’s powerful message.


Primary Eco Committee  – Children have been really busy making birdhouses which provide a safe place for birds to build their nests, protected from the elements and predators. We will be placing them in trees around the school and also some will go home to be kept in the children’s gardens. We have also been busy thinking of ways to reuse old clothing. In an effort to prevent unnecessary plastic pollution, the children have been making bags out of old t-shirts to use when shopping.


Next target: RESPONSIBILITY (RESPECT)
Talk Homework:
What sort of things can you reduce, reuse and recycle at home?

Your sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Before I could even walk, my father had decided that I was going to love football. Already, he had chosen my boots as well as the club I was going to train at every week. It was obvious to him: I was a boy and he loved football. That was the end of the matter. This was the first time a decision was made for me.

“I guess I want to be a lawyer”, said a Year 11 student when I asked what plans he had for the future. Three things sprang to my mind at that instant: this student doesn’t like reading, doesn’t study History or Literature (key subjects to study a degree in law) and does not show any interest in activities such as MUN or the debating club.

“Why do you want to be a lawyer”, I asked. “Because my parents think it’s a good job.”

Following our parents’ footsteps is not unusual. There are well-known examples in the areas of sport, music and even politics. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

From my point of view, the problem starts when parents decide their child’s future from a very early age. This week, I was reading an article on a recent case in the United States in which parents paid astronomical sums to elite universities’ admission tutors in order to guarantee a place for their children at these institutions.

Our role is simply to advise, support and guide. It must be children who decide.

All in all, my father’s decision about my involvement in football was not so bad. I learned to be part of a team and respect different viewpoints but, above all, I enjoyed the many benefits of physical exercise.  However, it was me who made the decision to become a Mathematics teacher, despite the fact that my father would have loved to have another Messi at home.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Francisco Escobar

Headteacher, Secondary

 

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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.

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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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! 
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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.