Parent Newsletter 25 April

Dear parents,

Welcome back after a break from all your children’s devices and I hope what was an enjoyable relaxing time with your families.

Whoever would have believed that Term 3 would start like this; however, we are all safe and well and that’s what’s important.  Your children have all completed their first week of our new online programmes in Primary and Secondary, incorporating more live lessons which you were requesting.

Every effort has been made to listen to your ideas; however, professionally we have to ensure that what we are providing and how is in the best interests of all the children and therefore we are aware we may not please every family, I am sorry.  Thank you so much for all the positive feedback regarding our efforts and also some very workable suggestions of how we can improve.

One of my brilliant teachers who will remain nameless phoned me in an anxious state this week, because her very small toddler had woken up in his cot screaming during her online lesson and wouldn’t stop.  She was alone and the only way to soothe him was to sit him on her lap for the last 10 minutes of her lesson. The young class she was teaching loved the situation but she was extremely anxious that you the parents might not.  I know you will be saying as you read this “the teachers are paid” and you are absolutely 100% correct.  Anyway, the point of sharing this little story with you is that when parents sometimes say teachers and school don’t understand this situation, we do, because we are all in this together. So those messages of appreciation to my staff are gratefully received and again, I thank you for your kindness.

I have visited a lot of Primary school Google classrooms and have seen how hard your children are working and how well they have adapted to the new situation and technology.  They are a marvellous embodiment of more than one Aloha value!

Your children (and you) have submitted some outstanding work. Once again I remind you that we are posting many examples on our school website and social media so please follow us.



I hope you are managing to join in your children’s PE lessons or, like me, are trying to take time after work to walk around the garden or pedal on your exercise bike, or unsuccessfully follow some of the Keep Fit video extracts on TV.  Someone who is a little older than me, Captain Tom Moore, has become quite a famous figure in the UK. On 6 April at the age of 99 he began to walk lengths of his garden with his walking frame in aid of National Health charities and their works during the pandemic.  His goal was to raise £1,000 by his 100th birthday.  By 22 April he had raised over  £28.2 million for the NHS charities.

Whilst we are not aiming to raise money for charity at the moment, the PE department have used this idea to promote Aloha College families’ fitness programme.  Enjoy this video!

So let’s aim to make John o’Groats by the end of May if not before.

An example of the wonderful work of our whole school community – thank you, PE department.



Regarding our charity calendar, we do not propose raising any funds for the rest of this term as we are all well aware that everyone’s financial position has been adversely affected by the current situation.

However, many of you have told me how you have spent some of this time sorting out your wardrobes, tidying cupboards, emptying storage rooms. Please may I remind you that DEBRA, an international charity with a local base which we regularly support, does have charity shops which raise funds for children with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a group of genetic skin conditions that cause the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch. Those born with EB have skin so fragile they are called ‘butterfly children’ – their skin is quite simply as fragile as the wing of a butterfly.  Please, if you have had a clear-out of: clothes (washed), books, shoes, paintings, photo frames, toys, costume jewelry, decorative items, crockery – why not store them until we are all released to travel and take them to the Debra shops in Marbella and San Pedro. This would provide vital funding for the charity. You can find further information about the charity here

To finish my newsletter I have some wonderful news.  Our ex-pupil Ramsey was advised yesterday that he is 100% cancer free.  This news came exactly 4 years to the day since he was first diagnosed.  For our staff, pupils and parents who know Ramsey, this is a cause of great celebration and we are absolutely thrilled for him, his mum Kay, his father Khalifa and his brother Max.

This weekend you will have an extra day’s rest from schoolwork as Friday is 1 May, Labour Day. Take advantage as there will be no more holiday until the end of the school year!

Have a lovely weekend – keep safe and keep moving!


Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

Welcome back to a very different Summer Term as we continue with our Distance Learning. The classrooms may be different but our Values and Personal Goals remain the same. Just as in school we are looking for the following qualities in our children’s learning as they learn through Google Classroom:


Adaptability – Communication – Thoughtfulness – Cooperation
Morality – Resilience – Respect – Enquiry



When these targets were set before the start of the academic year little did we realise that our Primary School focus for May, which is the Aloha Value of Resilience and our Personal Goal of Adaptability, would be so relevant!


Resilience helps children navigate and deal with stressful situations and the COVID 19 lockdown will have had an impact. For the children in their learning this means “having a go” before asking for help, understanding that making mistakes is how we learn. 

A good way to help with this at home during lesson time is to reinforce the following with your children “All things are difficult before they are easy” and encourage your child to add “YET” when they say they can’t do something.

I have seen a lot of this already taking place as I have visited a number or Google Classrooms this week. Don’t worry if I haven’t visited your child’s class YET – I soon will!


Weekly overviews and Summer Curriculum Outlines
Yesterday you will have received the Curriculum Weekly Overview for your child for next week (27Apr-1May). 

On the Parent Portal you can also access your child’s learning for the next half term (Curriculum Outlines, Summer 1).


Many congratulations to our STARS OF THE WEEK:
NSCCU Viggo Heder, NSERI Alexander Precht
RCEMA Tyler Kemp, RCJST Evgenia Terekhova
1KED Mark Moiseev, 1MTI Theo Brunner-Duhon, 1LHO Carys Davies Isted
2LT Kenzo De León García, 2ARS Leo Apaydin, 2FFO Ana Giulia Sirejacob 
3EK Ilya Dekker, 3JCH Max Wu, 3ESE Alfredo Fernández López
4ITA Fred Chamizo, 4ES Nikita Knezovich, 4SJD Nikola Iliev                
5MAS Kai Santegoedes, 5ASH Sofia Kalkamanova, 5BWA Polina Pchelkina
6PSM Linnéa Anderson, 6WA Sasha Sergeev, 6CST Sasha O’Hayon Karlov


Srta Encarnita: Nursery Anthea Abad Carruana, Reception Elvira González Barrio, Y1 Jenna Wahlroos, Y3 Mija Sidorovic, Y2 Roxane Bourasseau 
Srta Rosa: Nursery Milo Mason-Browning, Reception Daniel Estéban Roldán, Y1 Alejandro Fernández González, Y2 Noor El Houda Faouzi, Y3 Alek Yankov.
Srta Sylvia: Y4 Vega Reinhard, Y5 Elin Höglund, Y6 Roberta Tye
Srta Antoinette: Y4 Nikita Knezovich, Y5 Sandra Gajos, Y6 Victoria Goryachkina
Srta Ana: Y6 Yannat Essaid Ben-Yaiche, Y5 Mario García Eisele
Don Diego: Y6 Federico Tobal Koner, Y5 Olympia Sundberg Delgado
Don David: Y2 Samuil Iliev, Y3 Andrés Fay Pérez, Y4 Javier Aguilar del Río
Srta Laura: Y2 Kenzo De León García, Y3 Alfredo Fernández López, Y4 Martín de León García

Special PE Awards
Maia Rincón Tian RCJST – Always smiling when doing PE!
Lia Rincón Tian 2LT – Outstanding commitment to all aspects of PE!
Yohan Le Carvennec 5ASH – Outstanding commitment to sports-specific training!


Mrs Salmon’s Special Distance Learning Award
Mija Sidorovic 3ESE – Mija is going above and beyond with her work. She always hands it in, she attends every session and she completes her work to such a high standard. She is clearly taking her work as seriously at home as she does at school. Miss Selmes is very proud of her.


Inter House 
Granada 822
Cordoba 728
Sevilla 573


Aloha Value – EFFORT                               

Personal Goal – COOPERATION


Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

I hope that you had a lovely Easter break even though it was very  different to what we’re used to. My holidays were good ; I had time to rest, talk to my loved ones, try out new recipes and watch some movies. One movie, in particular, caught my attention. It has made me reflect on a subject that is prominent in all our lives: the freedom of choice.

The experiences and life of Andy, the main character in the film, remind me of the situation that we are in today. In a very short period of time, we have moved from having plenty of choices to very few. To some extent, Andy experiences something similar. From being a successful lawyer with plenty of money and a good position, able to do whatever he wants, he ends up having practically nothing, after being locked up in prison. Has Andy lost his freedom?

Andy is sent to the so-called “Hole” for two weeks, with no distractions. He doesn’t see daylight and cannot talk to anyone. When asked how those two weeks went, he replies happily that it was like being on holiday with Mozart. His inmates ask if he was allowed to take a record player with him, to which he replies: “the music was here” (pointing at his head and his heart).

It is true that we do not choose many things in our lives: they are simply given to us. We do not choose our height, the colour of our hair or our siblings. It also happens to Andy, who despite being innocent, is imprisoned and his life changes overnight. He finds himself in a new situation which he has not chosen. 

We are going through something similar to Andy’s. What options do we have in a situation like this? 

There is the option of not accepting reality and rebelling. Giving up is also an alternative that, although not as extreme as rebellion, leads us to sadness and despair because we settle for something that we do not want. Personally, I believe that the best option in this situation is to accept reality and embrace it as an opportunity to learn. Andy lived in the outside world and might never have understood his inner freedom if he had not been to prison. 

When we don’t have the option to choose is when we have the option to accept. Accepting is choosing what, initially, has not been chosen. Only by accepting reality, we can hope to improve it.

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.