PARENT NEWSLETTER (3 – 7 JUNE)

Dear Parents,

A busy week for all, in particular for Year 6 who experienced life in the Secondary section of the school. They spent four days following a typical Year 7 timetable to help prepare them for September. The feedback to me was “Brill, Miss, you get to light a Bunsen burner in Science”. I received some wonderful messages from Secondary staff stating what a well-motivated, happy group of children they were. Well done Year 6!

YEAR 13 PROM

As I write this letter Year 13 will be preparing for their final Aloha social event – the annual prom. By the time you read this letter it will all be over. Last night 53 pupils and their chosen guest enjoyed a memorable evening at the Guadalpin Banus hotel. It is great to see them all happy and relaxed, relieved that their exams are over. However, it is always sad for me personally because in a few weeks’ time they will graduate from Aloha College and venture out into their chosen university, which might be anywhere in the world. Lots of photos were taken, some I will share in next week’s newsletter including the King and Queen of the prom. Many thanks must go to Mrs Ruth Cooper, parent and Board member, who helped Miss McGirl to prepare this event. Thank you Ruth, it was much appreciated by staff and pupils.

BASKETBALL

Congratulations to our “Minibasket” team who, for the second consecutive year, made the Final Four in basketball in the province of Málaga. A new sporting success for our pupils who put in all the effort and teamwork during the whole season.

CHARITY DAY

Please remember there will be a non-uniform day on Friday 7 June to support our final charity “Collective Calling”. The photo below shows the progress of vegetable plots by the education centre we are going to support. The hope is that within two years these plots will start producing enough crops to become self-sufficient. Please support this day by sending a minimum of 2€. Once again I thank you in advance for your support and generosity.

SUMMER SCHOOL

Please note that this year our Summer School will run from Monday 8 July – Friday 26 July. Summer School is always fun and this year we have prepared all sorts of new exciting activities for your children.

NEW UNIFORM

Thank you for all the positive feedback I have received regarding the new uniform.

Have a lovely relaxing weekend.

Your sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor

Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Year 6 Transition Days – Team Year 6 had a fabulous four days in the Secondary School in preparation for Year 7 in September. They became more familiar with the buildings and their new teachers. They enjoyed the freedom of choice at break times and of course the Tuck Shop was a big hit! I have been receiving positive comments all week from teachers of all subjects who have been impressed by their behaviour and positive attitude to learning. Next week they will complete their final assessments and then we are all looking forward to the Year 6 Graduation Assembly on Friday 21 June in the Hall (children will soon be receiving a special invitation).

Year 5 children thoroughly enjoyed their first residential trip together. They spent 3 days at Wakana in the Natural Park of the Alcornocales (Cádiz). They enjoyed a range of outdoor activities around the lake. They may even have discovered the ancient tartessian city of Atlantis which is rumoured to have been in this location. Most importantly though they showed that they are a great team collaborating, exploring, caring, sharing and having fun!

Feria Day Celebrations – On Friday 7 June, we will celebrate the local Marbella Feria, San Bernabé (Patron Saint of Marbella). Children can wear traditional flamenco dress or non-uniform, and we ask that they bring a minimum of €2 to support our “Collective Calling” charity day. We shall end the day with a special Feria which will include performances by the Flamenco Club and guests. This will take place in the Arts & Sports Hall at 15:00 h. Parents are invited to ‘get in the mood’ by joining each other for music and drinks from 14:30 h on their way to their seats. Parents will collect children at 15:50 h directly from the Arts & Sports Hall. Remember, on Tuesday 11 June the school will be closed.

Have a lovely weekend

Sally Ride -  American astronaut
Sally Ride –  American astronaut

Your sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

Not a day goes by when I do not hear or read the word happiness. This term has become the trending topic of the 21st century. I can say confidently that the constant search for happiness has become almost an obsession; just do a quick search on the Internet and you will find that, in less than 1 second, you will get 141 million results on the subject.

I will never forget the look on a student’s face when he came to tell me that he was feeling sad. “I’m glad to know you’re sad,” I said. Stunned at my reaction, he asked, “Do you really want to see me sad?” I explained that we are taught to automatically reject sadness. However, we should not forget that going through a period when we are not 100% is also positive – the key is to understand that this feeling is only temporary and to know how to handle this emotion.

We have placed so much emphasis on happiness and positive thinking that we tend to forget the importance of coping with moments of anger, frustration and sadness. All these negative emotions have something to teach us about ourselves and, without them, it would be impossible to know what happiness is.

Experts say that sadness is as authentic as happiness. They affirm that moments of joy and intense feelings of happiness only make sense because they contrast strongly with our experiences of disappointment and sadness.

We all want our children to be happy, but at the same time they must learn to cope with disappointment, failure, and even injustice. We have to experience all kinds of emotions, both good and bad; there is always something that we can learn from them.

I hope you have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Francisco Escobar

Headteacher, Secondary

team
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.

team
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.
team
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. 
team
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.
team
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.
team
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.
team
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. 
team
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.
team
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.
team
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!
team
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! 
team
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.