Dear Parents,

Last night I enjoyed with many of you the Welcome Beach Party organised by the PTA.  It was so nice to talk to you in an informal setting.  I thank the PTA on your behalf, and also Gerardo our lab technician who used his lifesaving qualification to be the official lifeguard.

Car Parking Situation

We have listened to your concerns and, as usual, we are trying to address them.  In order to help alleviate a little of the dense traffic in the morning, it is our intention to open the pedestrian gate by the bus stop to enable you to drop off Secondary pupils only without having to drive down the hill if you are coming from the La Quinta direction.  It is our intention to leave the bus stop free for cars to drop off children quickly without having to park or use the ramp.  Please do not park and stay. A senior member of staff will be present to allow your children access to walk down the path from the Arts and Sports Hall, inside the school perimeter.  If any pupil from the Secondary section has a sibling in the Primary section he/she will be able to accompany them to the school playground.

In order to avoid congestion and in the interests of the safety of your children, only pupils will be allowed through the gate, not adults.  Let us trial this and see if it helps relieve the traffic situation a little.  Thank you in advance for your support in this matter – this will take effect from this Monday 30 September.

We have listened to you but, sadly, some parents don’t listen to us and continue to put our pupils’ safety in jeopardy by parking on the pavements.  The police have been in contact with us, so please don’t be surprised if you receive a parking fine.  It is with regret I have to say this but I will not put our children’s safety at risk.


I would like to thank parents for their appreciative comments after last week’s newsletter on uniform. Here is an example: “I have to thank you for the great idea about the new school uniform. White shirts, dark blue trousers or shorts and the tie. Can’t wait to see the students from November on with their jackets. The new uniform is a huge step to the real life. My husband and I are both successfully self -employed. We meet people from all over the world every day. It doesn’t matter how intelligent we all are or where we come from, the first impression is what counts. The signature ACM looks so simple but somehow professional.  We all have to be flexible and innovative these days. The real life is full of unexpected situations, but a well-dressed person has always a better chance. 
I would like to thank you and the whole Aloha College Marbella Team for everything! “

Thank you in advance for your support in this measure, which will take effect from this Monday, 30 September.

Gymnastic success

Congratulations to Masha Bolkhovitinova for her recent success in the Spanish gymnastics championships.  Masha is not a native Spaniard and therefore had to compete as an “open” gymnast, which meant she could not proceed to the finals.  However, from amongst many excellent gymnasts from all over Spain she was placed in the top 8.  Prior to this competition Masha competed in the Andalusian championships, where she won a gold medal in the ball event and came second in the team event.

I am certain we have here a future Olympian – watch this space!

Musical “Grease”

Remember John Travolta with that famous song “You’re the one that I want”  Well, you are all going to be presented with the Aloha College Marbella version of Grease on 18-21 February 2020.  Congratulations to all the pupils who went through rigorous auditions and to the selected cast.  Please work hard to prepare well for the show of a lifetime – I personally can’t wait!

Foundation Stage pupils

I spent some lovely time with our Foundation Stage pupils this week as they were asking me questions on my role in the school.  I can’t believe they are only 3 or 4 years old.

I wish you and your families a lovely weekend.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,

Being a global citizen is a hot topic at the moment and so I was particularly pleased earlier this week when a group of Year 6 pupils came to share their views on this subject with me. They were all Spanish as an additional language pupils who had written a piece, in Spanish, explaining how they were global citizens. Their views were articulate and enlightening. They explained to me that Aloha is a great place to be global as we have children of many nationalities. They were also proud to point out that many families have many nationalities within them. The sharing of these passionate views continued with arguments against racism, environmental damage and the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. So thank you Linnéa Andersson, Tim Pawlowski, Henry Zagozdzon, Timur Dosmukhamedov, Maia McDermott, Freddie Sharp, Roberta Tye, Tarah Wandoren, Leonie Reisbeck and Glasha Semenova.

Thank you also to all the parents who attended our PSHE introduction meeting on Thursday (Personal, Social and Health Education). Your feedback has been much appreciated and I know that your children are thoroughly enjoying the units. Follow up information will soon be available on the Parent Portal.

Last Saturday once again many children showed their care for the environment, in aid of World Clean Up Day, by joining Miss Meryl, Miss Anne, Srta Laura and the Eco Club in the Estepona Beach Clean up at Laguna Village.
These conscientious students were not having a swim or sunbathing! They were there to voluntarily clean the beach, and over 150 volunteers attended the event and collected a large amount of rubbish including a lot of harmful plastic items. In one hour, in a one mile radius we collected an estimated tonne of rubbish! Well done to all those who gave up their time to help and make a difference.


Last night the Aloha Welcome Beach Party at Bono Beach was once again a huge success and many new friendships were formed or renewed for children and adults.

Next Friday 4 October as part of the Language week celebrations we will have a non-uniform day and children are invited to dress in their national dress or the colours of their country’s flag.

The first Primary Parents’ Evenings with CLASSTEACHERS will be on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 October from 16:10 to 18:00 h in the School Hall. Please find more information here.

Next week’s target is: RESPECT and COOPERATION

Talk Homework:
What does it mean to be a global citizen? How are some children’s lives different to mine around the world?

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

This year, we are striving towards creating a diverse and exciting co-curricular programme. Rather than offering revision clubs that act as an extension to existing subjects, our secondary teachers have worked hard to provide a selection of clubs and activities which aim to inspire and enrich your child’s education. 

Future employers and academic institutions are not keen on students who have been attending revision and homework clubs throughout their school lives; they expect to see young people who try new activities and are willing to step out of their comfort zones. We want students to challenge themselves and explore a path they may not have considered before. The emphasis lies on enjoying life and branching out. 

This does not mean that students will not be supported when they struggle in certain areas of the curriculum. They just need to approach their teachers, who will arrange time to help them through any difficulties they may have. Teachers will also arrange sessions during break or lunch if they identify areas which your child needs to develop further.  

With this in mind, we encourage students to sign up for lunchtime or after-school activities in the coming days. For those not participating in after-school activities, the school will close at 16:00, although the library will remain open for research and study purposes only. It is not for use as a homework club.

We hope that you are as enthusiastic about the new programme as we are.

Please click here to see the full programme.

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.