Dear Parents,

Traffic around school

Some very positive feedback has been received from you the parents regarding our efforts to alleviate the traffic situation in the mornings by opening another pedestrian gate.  For those who may not have read last week’s newsletter parents can, if they wish, drop off their children by pulling into the bus stop.  Children can then enter via the pedestrian gate and walk down the path inside the perimeter. Let us continue to monitor the situation. Meanwhile, I would ask parents not to abandon their cars in the central reservation, please.

New pupils

I have now met all new Secondary pupils for a chat and to find out how they are settling in.  They have offered me some interesting advice on how we can make our school even better. The next step is for me to meet all Primary pupils to discover if they too are happy at Aloha College Marbella.  

Core Values

 We have added one more value to our list of four – Resilience.  Ask your children to explain what this means

Respect – Honesty – Care – Effort – Resilience

Simon Snell

Simon has now completed all the safeguarding training for managers, staff and governors.  He spent his last visit repeating the talk on online safety to our parents.


He sent us the following links to valuable resources, which I hope you will find useful in your quest to keep your children safe while using social media.

Absence Policy

I am noticing that some pupils are being collected early on Fridays. Please remember that full attendance is expected except when children are ill.  Weekend breaks should start after 16.00 h.

Aloha College U19 Football Champions 2019!

We are pleased to celebrate yet another sporting victory – here is Mr Toal’s report!

The U19 Boys and Girls football teams travelled to UD San Pedro to compete in the Costa Del Sol International School Football Tournament.

Both squads made short work of their group phases, winning each one out right. The boys were undefeated scoring 14 goals and conceding 0. Likewise the girls won their group scoring 22 goals and conceding 1.

 In the semis however the boys lost a tough penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw with Laude. The girls advanced to the final to play Sotogrande and ran out 5-1 winners with Sofia Elgaily Y10 netting 3 goals herself!

It is pleasing to see new players stepping up from the junior ranks to now represent Aloha at senior level.

 Our vision is to develop each and every individual and allow them to express themselves in competitive situations. Today was a great example of our vision in action.

 We are extremely proud of our students as they were true ambassadors for everything the college stands for on and off the field.

 Congratulations from a very proud Mr Toal and Miss Booth

Boys player of the tournament –  Lucas Sole Bravo

Most valuable player – Jose Acosta

Girls player of the tournament – Adriana Zugasti 

Most valuable player – Sofia Elgaily


I hope you all enjoy a lovely family weekend.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor



Dear Parents,


As all year groups have been learning from the IPC unit ‘Being Me in My World’, Monday’s assembly was an opportunity for children to share their thoughts on being global citizens.
39 children of different nationalities came to the front to demonstrate the internationality of Aloha. The Primary Eco Committee presented their inspirational photos and messages following the recent Beach Clean in Estepona. Even the Nursery children who joined us for the first time shared their ideas! The children’s ideas and responses really touched the hearts of all the adults in the room.

This assembly was also our first monthly celebration of the year when one child from each year group is awarded a special certificate for consistently demonstrating the monthly goals. For September these were RESPECT and COOPERATION. As symbolism in Primary reaches a wider audience, especially with so many different first languages, these monthly prize winners are also awarded with a ‘Blossom’ to hang on our ‘Learning Tree’ in the main entrance. As an extra bonus and recognition of this outstanding achievement, the children are currently planning what they would like to do as an extra treat. Congratulations to:
Zoueva Alexandra in NSERI, Blazquez De La Fuente Marta in NSCCU, Nijmeh Raphael in RCEMA, Duwe García Alexander in RCEMA, Vaiciulyte Milana in 1MTI, Kononenko Anastasia in 1KED, Hultgren Olivia in 2ARS, Bittan Sacha in 2ARS, Kuznetsova Sophia in 3EK, Sánchez Valenzuela Blanca in 3EHI, Bensouda Amira in 4ES, Lozano Chemerynsky Carlos in 4ITA, Le Carvennec Yohan in 5ASH, Kalkamanova Sofia in 5ASH, Zhukov Kovrikov Ilya in 6LBA and Hormigo Delgado Claudia in 6PSM.

Yesterday was a non-uniform day and children dressed in their national dress/colours of their country’s flag. It was a spectacle and exemplifies my favourite sentence from our recent PSHE meeting ‘Difference is the only thing we ALL have in common’.



On 14 and 15 October, the Palacio de Congresos in Marbella is holding an informative event for children called “Towards Nature”. This event is to inspire children to reach for their potential whilst also raising awareness about Climate Emergency and charities.
It is very exciting that Johan Ernst Nilson; who is a well-known world traveller, motivational speaker and a Guinness record holder, will be giving a Talk and Answer session about children’s roles in our Climate Emergency. The entrance for students is free and Adult tickets are €20 with all proceeds going towards charities. Monday’s event is suitable for children aged 13+ and Tuesday ́s for children aged 8 to 12. Children need to register online for entrance and bring ID on the day.
Follow the link below for more information:

FS-Y6 Parents’ Evenings with Classteachers
The first Primary Parents’ Evenings with CLASSTEACHERS will be on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 October (16-18:00 h, School Hall). You can book your appointments until Wednesday 9 October. Please find more information here.

Next week’s target is: RESPECT
Talk Homework:
What would life be like without the internet and what would I do instead?

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon

Headteacher, Primary


Dear Parents,

The main themes for most of my newsletters come from meetings and conversations I have had with your children, my colleagues and you. This week’s idea came after a meeting with the mother of a Year 10 student who asked me: Do you know the poem Ithaca?  At that time I could not work out the connection between our conversation and this literary work. The parent said to me: “I don’t care if my son takes longer to achieve his aims: what I want is, that by the time he arrives at his destination, he has enjoyed many learning experiences “.

I went home that afternoon and read the poem. It was then when I understood the importance that  Ithaka has in our lives. Here are some verses from the poem:

As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery

May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you’re destined for.

But don’t hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you are old by the time you reach the island,

wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way.

The poem tells us of the importance of enjoying the journey, whatever it may be, without constantly thinking about the final aim. The journey is far more enriching than the arrival at the final destination! Ithaka doesn’t really have anything exciting to offer, and that’s why we have to get there when we’re old, having enjoyed and learned on the way.

During that journey of life, we will face fears that can hinder our progress. Fear of change, uncertainty and the unknown is often the main hurdle that we must overcome. We need to take time to enjoy life’s pleasures, thus gaining wisdom.

I hope you have a nice weekend.

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.