Dear Parents,

As you read this you will be relaxing on the first day of your half-term holiday – I hope you enjoy quality family time.

It has been an exceedingly productive half term.  All new teachers and pupils have appeared to have settled very well.  I was speaking to a new Year 12 pupil yesterday who had attended 5 schools, he said that so far this was definitely the best – I believed him!


I am continually reminding parents that the use of the bottom car park is for Foundation Stage parents only.  Even for these parents the space is limited so I would ask that, once you take your child to the classroom door, you refrain from staying in the playground.  This would help to alleviate the traffic congestion.


Congratulations to Miss Aspden’s Year 6 class for achieving the best attendance since the start of term – 98.5%.  In the Secondary School Miss Perez’ Year 12 class had the best attendance with 97.8%.

Please let us continue to improve overall pupil attendance. Many families are still taking their children out of school earlier than the last day of term or half-term, for longer holidays!

May I please remind parents that if you intend to remove your child from school during term time that an absence request form must be filled in and returned to school.  The authorisation for the absence will or will not be granted according to our policy.  Forms are available here and at Reception.


I spent a lovely lunch hour yesterday with Mrs Escobar serving delicious food to the 15 pupils in the Secondary school who achieved the highest number of house points this half term.  Congratulations to them all, keep it up!


Thank you all for your support yesterday. The money raised was € 1.886,08


Congratulation to Ms Steel (Head of Science) and Mr Kemp (History teacher) on the birth of their beautiful, healthy baby boy.


In a separate letter I have written to you about an exciting new initiative we are going to introduce in September 2020.  Please read it carefully.


A reminder that the clocks go back at 3 am on Sunday 28 October – we get an hour’s more sleep but we have to prepare for darker, colder evenings!

I look forward to seeing you all after the holidays.

Yours sincerely,



Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

As you can see below, we are continuing to develop children’s digital literacy and safety through the introduction of online activities; however, it should be said that this should not replace the importance of children being able to play without technology, to be creative and use their imagination, to read and have fun exploring and solving everyday problems. I hope that the children have the opportunity to do just that this half term, developing healthy minds and bodies and, of course, having fun.

Don’t forget the clocks go back at 3am on Sunday 28 October. Have a great week and see you on 5 November, all children smart in their winter uniform ready for school photo week.

Doodle Maths – Children in Year 4 and Year 5 now all have access to Doodle Maths. This is an online resource which helps children to practise a range of maths skills. It creates a personalised learning programme for children based on their knowledge and understanding of different mathematical concepts. To take advantage of all of the features of Doodle Maths follow the instructions found on the following websites to download the resource onto your tablet or computer:

Internet Safety – Children in Aloha College will begin a new and exciting learning journey with a focus on internet safety when we return from the half term break. Part of this programme will involve participation in an innovative curriculum package called Gooseberry Planet. This is an online safety program for all children which, additionally, allows KS2 children to participate in gaming technology whilst learning about how to keep themselves safe when using the internet. Parents will be asked to complete a simple registration process in order to gain access to useful resources to support you to keep your children safe online. In addition, KS2 parents will be able to check their child´s progress through the gaming units of study.  Children will be given their unique log in details in November, after which point parents will be able to register. Further information will be shared then.

Next week’s target: ENQUIRY
Talk Homework: If I could fly into space what would I need to take with me?

Yours sincerely,

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

Anna Alieva and Shailin Katebiyan (Year 10) have kindly offered to write this week’s newsletter on what was a huge success at Aloha College last academic year: Operation Christmas Child.

A gift for all children

Could you imagine waking up on Christmas morning and not having anything to look forward to? No gifts, no warm home-cooked meal that you get to enjoy, no family to celebrate with, no Christmas Tree? It seems extremely saddening, right? It’s something that surely none of us want to go through. Sadly, many kids around the world are in this situation and we can’t imagine what it must feel like to spend such a gloomy Christmas. Hopefully, we can help make Christmas an unforgettable day for hundreds of children with the help of the ‘Be Kind Campaign’ and Operation Christmas Child at Aloha College, but most importantly we need your help to do so.

Operation Christmas Child is a global campaign that aids children from developing countries to get their gifts and make a Christmas unforgettable. The process is as simple as the outcome is amazing. All pupils in key stages 3,4 & 5 have received information via form tutors and Google Classroom.  Each form group is going to try and contribute at least 1 shoe box as a collective effort, but if there are any families who wish to get involved, then please do so. You need to decide the age range and gender of the child you are creating for, find a shoe box, wrap it (top and bottom separately) and fill the box full of appropriate gifts.  There is a link you can click on below to check what you are and are not allowed to send in the boxes.  Please note that for each box which will be sent off, 6 euros must be included, to help with the cost of shipping.

Operation Christmas Child

These gifts will be sent to Togo, Ukraine or South Sudan, where the children will open them up on Christmas Day and a smile will brighten up thousands of faces.

The campaign was started 25 years ago by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian non-governmental organisation that provides moral and physical help to people in need all over the world. Since then it has turned the lives of more than 6 million children in developing countries and transformed their families for the better. Shoeboxes have been sent out from the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Besides the gifts, the organisation also provides the children with religious and school education, which they finish off with a gorgeous graduation ceremony.

Hopefully, you will dearly want to help us fulfill our goal in making even more lives happier.  All you need to do is get shopping and packing! And remember this Christmas, it’ll be life-changing for them – and for us.”

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a restful half term break.

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.