Dear Parents,


The Year 11 and Year 13 students are smiling as their trial examinations and some final examinations are now over.  I hope they are as cheerful when the results are released! Good luck to you all.

International Rhythmic Gymnastics success

In December Masha Bolkhovitinova, Year 9, participated in the international Rhythmic Gymnastics competition in the Bahamas.  She won 3 gold medals and 1 silver. Following these marvellous results, the American Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics based in Chicago officially invited Masha to be a member and to be an athlete representing the USA. So this season Masha will be given the opportunity to prove her skills even further and to be chosen for a place in the National Team.  The whole family, therefore, is leaving Marbella to take up residence in Chicago. They are all very sad to leave Aloha but are of course very excited to take up this new challenge.  I am very proud of how Masha has so successfully managed her training and schoolwork – she is an excellent example of how pupils can achieve in both fields if they set their minds to it.  I wish you all the very, very best in America, Masha, and look forward to watching you compete with the most talented athletes in the world. When we see her compete in the Olympics, I shall tell the world “She came from Aloha!”

New Staff

We welcome another new member of staff to our wonderful school.  Manuel Alvarez joined us on Thursday to take up the position of Communications Officer.  We hope he is happy and successful.

Production of “Grease”

Our pupils are rehearsing very hard for our forthcoming performance of the musical “Grease”.  Please keep one of these dates free in your diaries:

Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 February, 18.00 h

Year 6/Year 7 Transition Talk

Earlier this week our Year 7 pupils talked with the Year 6’s to tell them about their experiences in Secondary School.  This initiative, along with the transition week in May, means that Year 6’s are even more excited about moving up to Year 7 in September.

Medication in school

Please remember no medicines should be sent to school to be administered unless they are prescribed by a doctor to be given to your child during school hours. The medicine, clearly labelled, needs to be left with the nurse in the morning along with the doctor’s prescription and the completed medicine form.

If your child has specific allergies or medical conditions and is to have medication in school on a permanent basis, please see the nurse.

Non-Uniform Day 31 January 2020

We have been very moved by the recent ongoing news of the Australian bushfires.  I have been talking to Mateo Iturmendi in Year 11, who has family in Australia and his lived there himself, and he has been sharing with me what so many of our pupils are currently talking about:  the suffering and death of thousands of animals. As a school we place great importance on our Eco project and charity work so it is very relevant that we are supportive on this issue. On Friday we invite all pupils and staff to wear non-uniform and donate a minimum of €2 to the animal charity which Mateo, who is spearheading this project, is currently researching for us.  In next week’s newsletter we will tell you how much we have raised and the name of the charity the money is to be donated to. Thank you in advance for your support.

I wish you and your families a lovely weekend.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

This week we welcome the 3 students from University of South Wales: Sarah, Zoe and Cecilia. These students are here to experience teaching and learning in an international setting in their final year of teacher training. They will be spending a few weeks in Reception, Year 2 and Year 3.

As the Primary Section of Aloha College it is wonderful to see children experience interacting with the older pupils. This week children from different year groups have enjoyed such collaborative opportunities.

Year 4 children thoroughly enjoyed working with Year 10 on Wednesday as part of the Secondary School Maths week. The Year 10 pupils had organised lots of maths challenges for Year 4 to take part in. Excitedly, the children competed against each other to win points for their houses.

Year 6 pupils were treated to a visit from the current Year 7 pupils to discuss what to expect when they move to Secondary School. The Year 7 students enjoyed being able to share their knowledge and it helped to ease concerns from current Year 6 students.

As Collaboration is one of our keywords this term I was also impressed when I visited 3EK who were writing nonchronological reports based on collaborative research. Each team also reflected upon their qualities as a team and the effectiveness of their team leader. I was particularly impressed with Sophia Kuznetsova. 6PSM class also succeeded in inspiring me on Thursday during a digital learning class as they rose to Mr Mulligan’s challenge of using algorithms to solve a problem. In addition to collaboration the children demonstrated their skills of creativity, resilience and communication. Well done everyone I can’t wait to see your finished designs.

Times Table Rock Stars – Year 2
Year 2 have been very busy learning their times tables and so we are now very excited to introduce them to Times Table Rock Stars. This program is very carefully designed to help boost your child’s times tables recall speed. The automatic training mode is enabled so that children will go through the pre-programmed levels if they choose to play in the Garage or the Arena section. This will start them off with the ten times tables and once they can answer 20 questions per minute, it will introduce the next set of questions. They can earn coins by answering questions and spend these on their own personalised avatar. We will be awarding certificates and prizes to the two Year 2 children who collect the most coins each month.

Sports News
Last Friday 17 January the Aloha Girls Football team played several friendly matches against the EIC Girls. They won some and they lost some but the experience has given them more confidence and knowledge of the game!

Children’s snacks and forgotten items
Children are welcome to bring healthy snacks to school, especially if they have co-curricular activities after school. Please make sure your children have their snacks packed in their bag in the morning, along with any necessary items they may need during the school day (PE kits, lunch boxes, books, homework etc.). We cannot guarantee delivery of items left in reception after 9:00 h.

Aloha Value Focus this half term – Honesty
Personal Goal Target for January – Resilience

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

Have you managed to do some research on Robert, the Scottish poet I referred to in my last newsletter? Robert Burns is Scotland’s most famous poet. He died in 1796, but he is still celebrated in Scotland and beyond on 25 January. The event is known as Burns Night. One important guest at the supper is always haggis, a traditional Scottish dish.

Maths week has kept our students very busy. I will let you read what Jennifer Turner, Head of Mathematics, has written about all the activities that have been organised for our pupils.

Mathematics Week

Writing this during the downpour on Thursday morning I would like to apologise on behalf of the maths department, we had no idea our Maths Week theme – It’s Raining Maths! – would be quite so accurate!

Despite the damp the topic of weather and climate have been fantastic, giving Year 8, 9 and 10 students an opportunity to analyse in detail the data from our very own Aloha weather station, as well as looking at international issues such as hurricanes and climate models. We have also seen some excellent Year 12 presentations where groups of students have researched, analysed and presented their findings on a range of topics from solar panels to the evidence for climate change and chaos in weather forecasting. Watching these, and reading the Year 7 projects where students have been calculating their personal eco-footprints, it is no surprise that Spain has declared a climate emergency this week. I challenge anybody to deny climate change after seeing their data, and hope they share the results widely to motivate the Marbella community to act.

Maths Week is an inter-house event and we are keen to see whether Cordoba can steal the crown of most mathematical house, currently shared by Granada and Sevilla. They took an early lead when some of our great mathematicians in Year 10 hosted a superb maths carousel for Year 4. It is always a pleasure to watch the secondary students take on the role of teacher and they did a fantastic job with activities pitched perfectly for the younger children. There is still plenty of time for Granada and Sevilla to fight back however! Students who were not able to complete the quizzes linked to the videos they have watched in registration will find the links on their Google classroom and have until Sunday to take part. There will also be a musical mathematical challenge led by the house captains in the final assembly on 31 January…now what could the tune be?!

Thanks to all the students who have taken part, and of course the maths department for their hard work in putting the week together. The process of selecting a theme for our next maths week in 2022 will start now with the maths of blue skies and sunshine currently a top contender!

I hope you have a nice weekend.

Yours sincerely,

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.