Parent Newsletter 30 May

Dear parents,

Nearly June and there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel!

Year 6
I have talked about the Year 11’s and Year 13’s in past newsletters. Today I want to remind you about the Year 6’s, whose end of year, like the older pupils, is not what they would have wished for.

At this time they are usually busily attending lessons in the Secondary School so they can experience in advance what it will be like in September. It is something they always look forward to, particularly going into the Science labs and using “proper equipment”. Last week they attended a sample of Secondary lessons, but of course online. Although they didn’t get to light the bunsen burners, they still got to enjoy a Science lesson, and were able to do an experiment themselves at home. They also learnt how to use a padlet, a virtual collaborative board where participants can share ideas/ comments/photos/websites/links. See our example here:    

Our students are up to date with all the latest technological tools!

This transition week culminated in a special assembly yesterday where Mrs Brice, Head of Key Stage 3, and Miss Verinder, Head of Pastoral Care, welcomed Year 6 and congratulated them on how well they had participated during the week.Thomas and Emily, current Year 7 Pupil Voice representatives, were on hand to give account of their own fears when they moved sections last year. Everything turned out to be absolutely brilliant, they declared, including the tuck shop, news of which was very well received by the audience!

Well done to all our Year 6 pupils! They too have accepted the challenge of lockdown with increased maturity and independence. I am proud of each and every one of you. You will love Secondary school and can go there without any concerns. Mr Escobar knows all about you already! We are going to ensure our Year 6’s receive their graduation and their traditional party in September. Don’t worry, Year 6 – you haven’t been forgotten!

Year 11 World of Science Presentations
Whilst on the subject of Science, more congratulations must go to our Year 11 pupils, who made their Science presentations on “Superheroes”, some of which I was lucky enough to attend. You may think this may be an easy presentation to make but not so ….. 

All Y11 groups were given the task of investigating the science behind a Superhero’s powers. They did this by researching, calculating and carrying out their own experiments to see if these powers were scientifically possible. For example, Dani, Ethan and Adriana found out that Spiderman would need to eat 900 eggs a day to have enough protein to produce enough spider silk to save the world. Using the formula Power = E / t, Artemiy, Denis, Ricardo and Eric calculated the amount of power the Doom Slayer uses. Comparing it to the power used by a toaster, it turns out the Slayer could make toast for 16 hours 22 minutes and 48 seconds instead of grappling with demons from hell. That’s a lot of toast.

In that 40 minutes I learnt so much – thank you to all the pupils involved. I look forward to welcoming you into the Sixth Form and watching your knowledge grow.

Karate Champion
You have read about someone very special in my newsletter before; well, wait for this news:

Zeyn Müller, Year 2, Aloha College Marbella… 
Champion and 1st place in the World Series Karate by Arawaza!
What a fantastic achievement for one of our very own pupils. The most incredible thing is that, according to Zeyn’s teacher, Miss Anne, despite dedicating so much time every day to his training he has not missed one single live lesson, and has submitted every piece of work required since we went into lockdown. Congratulations, Zeyn, you deserve your success and we are really proud of your achievements

Enjoy sharing Zeyn’s success!

Zeyn confirms the importance of sport and exercise in our lives. When you are so disciplined practising something you excel in, or simply enjoy, that discipline remains with you all your life. It is easy to neglect exercise or give up your chosen sport in the current circumstances, so please, parents, continue to encourage your children to attend the online PE lessons and do some daily exercise. It won’t be long before all our Aloha sports teams are back wanting to smash their previous records, so we need your children to be in tip-top condition!

Covid Kms Challenge
This is a great way to promote exercise in your household and clock up the kms we need to travel around the world. Send your kms totals to the PE department – our next stop is Tokyo!

Have a lovely weekend with your families.

Elizabeth Batchelor


Dear Parents,

In my Monday morning message I asked the children to continue being resilient and adaptable.

Find my video message here. This is important because now the sunshine has finally arrived it is so tempting to be distracted. I reminded the children that we are still at school so they must be on time for their lessons and their school work must be completed before ‘going out to play’.

Next week we have our ‘next steps’ assessments and the guides for each year group have been posted on your classrooms or can be accessed here.

Congratulations to Year 2 who are just completing their IPC unit, ‘Stories That People Tell’. This unit has seen the children develop so many skills. They have been creative and imaginative, creating their own mythical creatures and settings and making some fabulous dreamcatchers. The children have also been geographers and historians, exploring and finding out about the stories told by the ancient Greeks, ancient Egyptians and Native Americans. To round the unit off, the children demonstrated their storytelling skills by telling their favourite story to an audience. The videos were, in the words of all your teachers, “great”!

This week Team Year 6 completed their Virtual Transition Week taking part in live online lessons with Secondary teachers through Google Classrooms. I can’t wait to hear how much they enjoyed their experience when I ‘meet’ up with them next week. Huge congratulations from all your teachers for your excellent behaviour and enthusiasm! Enjoy a lovely video with some of their works.


Finally, I hope that you have been enjoying the ACM Family Sports Day and are eagerly awaiting the results coming in!


NSCCU Alexandra Pearson, NSERI Carlo Tamburello Orovio
RCEMA Tina Anakhasyan, RCJST Alma Ortiz
1KED Talia Kassimi, 1MTI Henry Howard, 1LHO David Bederov
2LT Emilio De Blick, 2ARS Olivia Cergneux García, 2FFO Danilo Lalovic
3EK Indiana Leader, 3JCH Denis Kalkamanov, 3ESE Blanca Sánchez Valenzuela
4ITA Mélanie Deny, 4ES Sultan Khan Mamakaev, 4SJD Libby Worthington     
5MAS Angela Bahut Quevedo, 5ASH Hugo Hay-Evans, 5BWA Selma Achabbak
6PSM Gio Moonen Janssen, 6WA Lucía Melgar Navarro, 6CST Martín López Palomo

Srta Encarnita: NS Marta Blázquez De La Fuente, RC Leila Cartwright, Y1 Benas Marushka, Y2 Viktoria Bushlina, Y3 James Rob
Srta Rosa: NS Abdallah Adham Touati, RC Alexander Duwe García, Y1 Julia Taillefer Díaz, Y2 Olivia Hultgren, Y3 Ilya Dekker
Don David: Y2 Samuil Iliev, Y3 Emma Sánchez García, Y4 Nikola Iliev
Srta Laura: Y2 Jaime García Vidal, Y3 Oliver Aspden, Y4 Amira Bensouda
Srta Antoinette: Y4 Sergey Kononenko, Y5 Darian Mushfigh, Y6 Felix Cooper
Srta Sylvia: Y4 Claudia Nijmeh, Y5 Harry Campbell, Y6 Maia McDermott
Srta Ana: Y5 Mara García García, Y6 Chloe Rubio Subiris
Don Diego: Y5 Cayetana García Bañó, Y6 Claudia Hormigo Delgado

PE AWARD CERTIFICATES – For outstanding commitment to At Home PE
Miriam Haikina RCEMA, Elizaveta Haikina 1LHB, Elija Sidorovic 1MTI, Mario Egea Muñoz 5MAS

Lucas Hernández González (Don David Y2 Lengua) – Lucas is doing an outstanding job in Lengua, always working really hard and going above and beyond. He asks very intelligent questions, showing his curiosity and motivation for the subject. Mrs Salmon and Don David are very proud of him!

House points results > here


Aloha Value – RESILIENCE                         

Personal Goal – ADAPTABILITY


Have a lovely weekend and stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

Cows chew the cud all day. They spend hours and hours with their food in their mouths before swallowing it. Something similar happens to us humans, with our thoughts. Sometimes we go around in circles, becoming more and more obsessed, failing to find any solutions. Rumination is the term we use to describe this process. 

There are many situations in which these thoughts, which at first sight seem harmless and temporary, can be harmful and long-lasting. Just like a ball rolling downhill, it is easier to stop such ruminating thoughts when they first come to mind than when they have gathered speed over time. 

Not long ago, a student in Year 12 approached me after she finished her TOK (Theory of Knowledge) presentation and said: “ Sir, I messed up that presentation”. The morning after, she was still thinking about it. The summer had passed, the new academic year was about to start and guess what? She still had the presentation in her mind. The issue was not the grade she achieved (9 out of 10) but the moment that she struggled to answer a question by one of the TOK teachers. The student dwelt on the negatives and started ruminating the minute after she finished the presentation. 

When talking to the student about her presentation, I kept saying that most people feel nervous when speaking in public and that she should not worry about it. I suggested that perhaps she could learn some techniques to calm her nerves in the future. However, she kept asking herself: “Why does it happen to me?”

There are three things that experts recommend when we ruminate. Firstly, be proactive: identify the problem and take action. Secondly, ensure you give yourself a pat on the back and forgive yourself for your mistakes. Finally, make sure that you have friends and family to talk to when something goes wrong. 

Let’s nip rumination in the bud!

I hope you have a nice weekend.

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.