Parent Newsletter 29 May

Dear parents,

I trust you are all well. Thank you so much for your lovely positive comments regarding the inspection report I shared with you last week.

Here are a few reviews from some parents of our school that you can enjoy!

1)     ”It is an excellent report. You should all be very proud of what you have achieved, especially considering the very difficult times we are going through, the numerous challenges you must have had to confront and, most probably, are still confronting. If I was a new parent and had access to a report like this one of a school I wouldn’t think twice about enrolling my child there. Congratulations!”

2)      “After reading the inspection report, there wasn’t much we didn’t already know about Aloha college and the many reasons why we chose this school for our children. 

A child should always be congratulated and rewarded for a good school report, however the input from their school and teachers should not be neglected and it is thanks to Mrs Batchelor and her team that our kids are happy to go to school and learn.

In the background Aloha adopts a similar role to that of a devoted mother who continues to perform the often thankless task of raising her children. Passion, devotion and care are just a few of the qualities which give our children the very best start in life and it’s a rarity to find a school which is also dedicated to their well being.

Congratulations to Mrs. Batchelor and to all of the staff at Aloha for their excellent NIS inspection report. Your continued commitment to excellence is greatly appreciated.”

3)      “Just a quick email to congratulate you and all the staff on your excellent inspection report; very well deserved, especially with all the efforts you have made during the pandemic.”

If you have not read the report, please enjoy it in this link; it is a reflection on you and your children.

Year 6 Transition
The Year 6 pupils enjoyed a well-planned transition week in Secondary School.  They experienced 6 different teachers in a day; had Science lessons in state-of-the-art laboratories, drama lessons in the Theatre of the Arts and Sports hall; tasted French and German, did artwork with semi-professional artists, and took part in a treasure hunt to gain Pupil Profile points.

Thank you to Mrs Brice, Head of Key Stage 3, for her coordination of the whole experience.

Only 4 weeks left in Primary School – enjoy them!

Yoga in Foundation Stage

This is a lovely way for the children to start the day, as I discovered when I joined in yesterday’s mindfulness yoga session in Miss Christina’s class. By the time I joined Miss Ellen’s class doing yoga, I was too exhausted to join in!

The Year 13 pupils have requested that the photos of their graduation and prom be included in the new Yearbook (Normally these appear the following year.) Their graduation and prom are scheduled for Thursday 24 June. The photos taken during these events will then need to be included in the Yearbook. Therefore the Yearbook will be available online in the beginning of July, and hard copies will be distributed, as last year, on the children’s first day back in September. As these pupils have had a difficult year we would like to support their request. Thank you for your support in this matter.

Last year’s Yearbook recorded 6,917 viewings. Absolutely amazing! You can see it again in this link or by clicking the image below.  

Assessments in both Primary and Secondary sections will be carried out over the next few weeks. It is essential that your children attend school until the last day of term, Thursday 24 June. Assessments will not be re-scheduled for pupils taking early holidays, so please do not even request this.

It has been a difficult year for everyone, so let’s work hard and relish the days we have left until the last day, then we can all enjoy a well-deserved summer holiday.

Have a lovely weekend with your families.


Where has this week gone? It only seems like five minutes since I was writing last week’s newsletter.

Year 6 Transition Days
Year 6 children have thoroughly enjoyed their experience in the Secondary section of the school. Yesterday they returned to their full primary timetable. Next they will have their Primary assessments, then they will be able to look forward to their graduation assemblies, a day trip and a special party. 

Evald had a good chat with me about every lesson he experienced this week – he really enjoyed it and said he can’t wait to go over to Secondary.

As I said in last week’s newsletter it is so important that all children attend school to the very last day. You have been informed about assessments for all year groups. They will be carried out during the specific allocated times. Separate arrangements will not be made for children who are taken out for early holidays.

Fun Day
We also want the children to enjoy one full fun day. We are currently planning these special events. Each year group will receive a letter giving more information. It has been an amazing year and your children deserve a treat.

Children’s Work
Yesterday I was amazed at Dario’s planet! Miss Emma, his Reception teacher, reminded me he is only 4 years old. Well done!

Year 3 children in Miss Anne’s class produced some beautiful work too!

*Matias Llorente & Harry Blomberg: Poster: Magical Madagascar
They researched information about culture and traditions in Madagascar and created a poster. 

*Harry Blomberg: IPC Unit poster for Water, Water Everywhere
Explaining the importance of clean water for everyone. 

*Roxane Bourasseau and Siyona Gupta: Poster: Healthy Hawaii.
They researched information about culture and traditions in Hawaii and created a poster. 

*Siyona Gupta: For homework she made a tourism poster about Marbella. 

*Gia-Valentina Franklin Pellegrino: showing her IPC book, excellent reflective work about the value and importance of water. 

Meet Alexandru and Santiago, who loved reading to Mrs Batchelor.

In their IPC lessons Emilia Osztrovszka and Mina Tobal in Year 2, Miss Georgia’s class, designed beautiful zig zag books about living and non-living things. They gave Mr Escobar (Head of Secondary) and myself a full lesson on what it all meant! Wonderful!

Years 3 and 4 Maths Presentation
Thank you to the 31 parents who attended the Maths Presentation entitled Calculation Methods in Lower Key Stage 2 and thank you also for your very positive feedback. This was an opportunity for Miss Liz and Miss Fox to share with parents how we teach these concepts and to answer any questions they may have had. The presentation is available on the Parent Portal and on the iParents App.

The parents were given access to the presentation slides at the end of the virtual meeting to reinforce all that had been said. It was a pity not all parents were able to attend.

Online Safety
This is a topic which comes up repeatedly and no doubt we will need to continue to talk about it indefinitely. 

Please, please monitor the use of your children’s devices. 

The last few weeks we have had various issues that have arisen outside school where children have been seeing or sharing materials that could put their safety at risk. When children are in these situations they are sometimes too scared to tell you or us as they think they may get into trouble, and they are unable to extract themselves from their plight.

We understand that you want to ‘trust’ your children but they are children and many are accessing sites that are NOT designed for primary-aged pupils. We, like you, want to keep your children safe.

All of us will help any of you to answer questions that you may have regarding online safety.

Please remember that Mrs Emma Saunders is the Primary Head of Pastoral Care and is always there to support your children and indeed to answer any questions you may have.

Congratulations to all the children and in particular to:

Thank you for your continued support. Have a lovely safe weekend with your families. 

May Personal Learning Goal – TO BE REFLECTIVE (THINKER)
Next week’s Aloha Value  – CARE

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

This week we have had the privilege of meeting our future Year 7 pupils during transition. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them!

Teachers in the Secondary School have been blown away by their positive attitudes, their enthusiasm and willingness to throw themselves into everything we offered. They have followed a typical secondary timetable and have shown they are well and truly ready for the next step of their journey. 

Well done Y6!  Thank you for your energy and cooperation. We look forward to you joining us in September!

Here is a selection of pupils’ reflections and photos from this week:

Andrey Kukusta 6KFI

Andrey really enjoyed Science.  He said the experiments were enjoyable and they were a tiny bit dangerous!  However, Mr Serbetsglou made him feel safe and excited about Science.  He would have liked to use even more chemicals in the time they had. Andrey said he is most excited about French lessons and meeting new teachers in September!  

Laura Eggens 6LFO

Laura loved her Art lesson and said that all of it was so fun. She really enjoyed learning about the artist and exploring the style, but mostly she liked how kind the teacher was. She said the teacher made her feel happy and confident during the lesson and it absolutely made her day!  

Polina Pchelkina 6LFO

Polina really couldn’t choose between Art and Science!  She loved how each classroom had a lovely atmosphere, how kind and patient the teachers were and how the classrooms were full of interesting things.  She said the teachers made her feel part of the group and listened to her opinions.  They allowed to answer and corrected her if she was wrong. Polina is really excited about owning her own chromebook and locker, being able to eat outside and exploring the new buildings!  

Freya Horncastle 6 CST

Freya had fun doing the Treasure Hunt.  This activity isn’t a regular lesson, but it was an activity which encouraged students to find their way around the buildings, meeting different teachers, as well as incorporating key words in the Pupil Profile award jigsaw. Freya enjoyed it a lot and it made her feel independent.  She is looking forward to feeling more independent and having more responsibility in September!

Francisco Escobar
Head of 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.