Parent Newsletter 28 November

PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

I always knew that the children of Aloha are special and our ‘Be Kind’ Week was another perfect example. The children were asked to nominate another child who they had witnessed going ‘above and beyond’ in their kindness towards others. The response was amazing and it has taken me all week to count and read over 220 nominations! Here are the most nominations from each year group with some of the reasons why.


NURSERY:

Ian NSERI “For sharing his monster truck” and “for playing dinosaurs with his friends”.

RECEPTION:
Sasha RCJST “She plays everything nicely with me”.
Jesse RCJST “He was so friendly to me and he just helped me all day”.

YEAR 1:
Santiago 1MTI “I didn’t have anyone to play with and Santiago asked me to play with him”.

YEAR 2:
Elija 2FFO “Because when I was dancing she said that I was very good at dancing”.

YEAR 3:
Malak 3EK “She told me my hair looked really pretty” and “For cheering me up when I was sad”.

YEAR 4:
Matilda 4CLA “She always says thank you when I give out the iPads” and “I was alone and nobody to play with and she asked me to play”.
Santino 4ITA “for being sharing, kind and sensible”.

YEAR 5:
Carlos 5ES  “He was always kind to me since I met him. He never lets me down, never lets anybody down. I think the award should go to him”.
Shaylie 5SJD “Every time I’m sad she cheers me up and it always works. She also helps me with my work and is never mean to me”.

YEAR 6:
Marivi (Maria Victoria) 6CST “For being patient with me when I don’t understand something in maths” and “For being grateful for every single thing she gets”.
Polina 6LFO “When I ask her for her opinion of my work if she doesn’t like it she says she doesn’t in a nice way e.g. maybe you could make it this way”.

There are many other beautiful examples, as I said earlier Aloha children are ‘The Best’.

 

Primary Eco-Committee – The Primary Eco-Committee has now been set up online and this week Miss Meryl posted the first message and video via Google Classroom. Children should check the Eco Notice Board on the first floor and check their Google Classroom every Wednesdays after school for new posts.

Congratulations to 5SJD! Based on the last seven days, they are Aloha College’s top Doodling class (Doodle Maths).

Reminder Give a Gift Campaign 2020 – During the Be Kind Week/Anti-Bullying week (16-23 November) children were actively encouraged to spread kindness at home and at school and together as a Community. We launched our ACM Give a Gift Campaign 2020. We aim to think of children who have very little to look forward to at Christmas, many of whom are homeless or have no real family to look after them. Watch the Give a Gift Campaign video here. Donations from the Primary School can be left at the Main Reception Office.

Your children’s teachers are planning to make Christmas special in the Primary School but as we are still in discussions with Father Christmas I need to keep the details secret for the moment. One thing I can share is that on Monday 14 December the whole college is being asked to wear a Christmas jumper. This is also the day of the Christmas Raffle Prize Draw so please ensure you keep selling your tickets. Thank you so much to all those families who are asking for more!


Aloha Value – HONESTY
November’s Personal Learning GoalTo be Empathetic (to be thoughtful).

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary
kathryn.salmon@aloha-college.com


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Sad headlines to wake up to earlier this week: ‘Maradona has died at age 60’. I am not mad about football, but we cannot ignore the fact that he was once one of the best, if not the best, player of all time. His talent was such that, by the age of 11, he had begun to be mentioned by the national press. 

When I watched the news on Wednesday evening, I was taken aback by the way that Argentinians reacted to his death. I am not talking about just football supporters, who understandably would be upset. There seemed to be an overwhelming majority of Argentinians who took to the streets to pay their respect to the football legend. I immediately thought of Mariela and Ms Sapone who, being Argentinians, could explain the emotion displayed by their compatriots.

After speaking with Mariela, I understood why people, especially in Argentina, would feel that way. The country has experienced some upheaval throughout history and Maradona brought joy to its people by becoming the very best on the football pitch and speaking very proudly about Argentina in every public event.

We are all aware that Maradona did not make the best choices in his life and this is exactly what troubled me and led me to question: 

Should a sporting hero be a role model for younger generations just because he/she has succeeded on the sportsfield? 

We tend to look up to celebrities, sports people or anyone famous, but are they the best examples for us to follow? I do not think there is a yes or no answer to this question. However, I do believe that role models should be people who have qualities that we would like to have, are noted for how they live their lives and, more importantly,  should be those who have an impact on us and make us want to be better people.

Knowing how to make an informed choice is a skill we teach our children. However, these choices are not always easy. There are times when, for example, your children have to stand up to peer pressure or keep themselves safe in some situations. This is when responding with a resounding “NO” can change your life.

I also believe that we need more than one role model for different stages of our lives. We can then pick one aspect or good thing from one and have another strong quality to admire and aspire to from another. Choosing Maradona as a role model for his tremendous talent as a football player, passion and tenacity to become the absolute best is unquestionable.

I hope you have a good weekend.

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.