PARENT NEWSLETTER (3 – 7 FEBRUARY)

Dear Parents,

I hope your week was as good as mine!  A lot of my newsletter this week is “boasting” about our Primary School children’s success in recent sporting events…

Primary Sports Events

X country

On Wednesday our KS1 and KS2 children competed in a beach cross country with 8 other schools – and came first!  (See Mrs Salmon’s newsletter) You have made me so happy! Thank you to all those who turned up to cheer the children on.  Parents are certainly becoming used to seeing ACM win!

 

Triathlon

Blanca Sánchez of 3ESE has only been competing in triathlon for a year, but she has already won a prize for being the third best athlete in Malaga in her category for the 2019 season.  She has just started the duathlon season in Ronda, and has already won a gold medal. This is fabulous, Blanca, I am so proud of you because I know how hard you will have trained. Well done!

 

Karate

Zayn Müller of 2ARS visited my office on Wednesday to tell me about his karate prowess (he is an orange belt!)  He treated me and the administration staff to a display of his “kata” and we were extremely impressed by his energy, but also by the precision of his movements and his concentration.  Keep it up, Zayn, you will go far! I now know who to go to if I ever need a new security guard…

 

Australian bushfire charity

Thank you so much for supporting our charity yesterday in the non-uniform day. So far we have raised  €2,235.67, but the money keeps coming in so I will give you an update in my next newsletter.

Coronavirus 

Thank you for expressing your support of the measures we are taking.  As I mentioned, the protocol is temporary and will be adapted if necessary.  Please be aware that we have consulted and continue to be in contact with all the appropriate authorities.

Grease

As you know, the musical we are proud to present this year is “Grease”.  Performances take place on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 February at 18.00 h and Thursday 20 at 19.00 h in the Arts and Sports Hall. Tickets are on sale from Monday 3 February in the administration office at 5 euros – be careful, as they will fly!  I look forward to seeing you there.

Have an enjoyable weekend with your families, hopefully with that lovely weather we are used to in Marbella.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor

Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Who says school is boring?
“Not all classrooms have four walls” and this is certainly true of the wide range of learning opportunities your children experience every day at Aloha. This week has been a busy example of such. Children have experienced learning and being successful in teams, collaborating to try to solve the problem of a shared goal, experiencing history through visiting sites and seeing archaeological findings (i.e. Y4 trip to Dolmen Centre of Corominas in Estepona) and, last but not least, communicating to show empathy for other children less fortunate.

Cross Country success
Everybody was so proud on Wednesday when we heard that our cross country team were returning from Elviria beach as champions. Selected children from Y2-Y6 competed in an Inter-Schools Cross Country organised by EIC. The extra lunchtime training sessions paid off as Aloha College Marbella Primary Cross Country Squad won first place overall! A huge congratulations to all our runners but a special mention goes to our medallists: Mia Axioti 6CST, Christian Vasile 6PSM, Danila Belov 4ITA, Artemi Belov 4SJD, Lilia Young 4ITA, Kenzo De León García 2LT, Gia Franklin-Pellegrino 2LT and Hayden O’ Driscoll 2LT.


Energy Monitors
In my Monday’s assembly we watched a presentation about saving energy. Miss Meryl explained to us that the Eco committee have come up with the idea of having an energy monitor for each class. This child will take on the responsibility of encouraging others to be more energy efficient. Their responsibility will be to switch off lights when the class leaves the room, setting the smartboard to sleep mode when not in use and at the end of the day ensuring computers are switched off (if the teacher is not using it) and the heating. I was also interested to receive a letter from the Eco Club suggesting we reward energy savers with energy house points. Such a great idea, that has now been adopted!

Thank you to everyone for supporting the Australian fundraising yesterday. The Primary School will be holding a Wild Hair Day in recognition of the uniqueness of the threatened Australian Wildlife on Friday 14 February.

Aloha Value Focus this half term – HonestyWhat happens if you keep telling lies?
Personal Goal Target for January – ResilienceWhy are mistakes OK?

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

We started the week with some sad news. Kobe Bryant, a famous NBA basketball player, died last Sunday in a helicopter crash. The world remains in shock over the devastating news. We know that he was an idol for many of our students, particularly those who play basketball. I was in total agreement with Mr Toal when he suggested that I write a few words about Kobe Bryant in this week’s newsletter.

The great Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus said: “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”, which translates as “Seize the day, do not trust tomorrow”. It is absolutely true; the only thing we can trust is living for the present moment. However, I do not believe we fully embrace this idea.

Our daily life is extremely busy, which makes us think about what we are doing at the weekend or where our next holiday destination will be. The same happens on Sundays when we start feeling anxious about Monday. It seems that the present moment is so dull that we constantly need future plans. I know it’s easier said than done, but we must take some time to enjoy the present moment and not focus only on what comes next. 

Kobe Bryant was in the NBA for twenty years and only retired three years ago. As well as his many achievements in basketball, he led many charitable activities, including a fund for young people in China. He also narrated an adaptation of ‘Dear Basketball’ for a short animated film which won an Academy Award in 2018. He inspired a generation of basketball players internationally. They say he was the most globally minded of any NBA star in history- he could confidently conduct interviews in Spanish and Italian and was also a major influence in women’s basketball.

The best tribute we can pay to Kobe Bryant is to remember him as a magnificent sportsman who inspired a whole generation of athletes. 

The Spanish novelist Lope de Vega once said: “What counts is not tomorrow but today; today we are here, tomorrow we may have left”

Let’s make every day count.

I hope you have a nice weekend

Yours sincerely,

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.