PARENT NEWSLETTER (9 – 13 MARCH)

Dear Parents,

Welcome back after a warm-weathered Semana Blanca.

Coronavirus meeting 

Yesterday we welcomed Amanda from Helicopteros Sanitarios who made herself available to meet with you all and answer any questions regarding the Coronavirus.  I am delighted to see that you are obviously feeling a lot calmer, as there were 5 parents present, and 3 Board members. I look forward to school attendance being back to normal next week. 

Thank you to Amanda on behalf of the parents.

The holiday period brought some outstanding success in Mathematics. Two teams represented Aloha College Marbella in Vienna at the ISMTF International Maths Competition.

As always the Aloha students were perfect ambassadors for the school, but this year we are delighted that their hard work in preparing for the competition brought great success. The Junior team of Ricardo Holmes, Timothy Kleimann and Arshia Farajollahi with coach Kerry Churchman achieved a respectable 21st place, with Arshia coming 7th overall in the individual competition. The Senior team of Ekaterina Borisova, Jieyi Yang and Ablaikhan Tatishev with coach Jenny Turner did even better, winning the trophy for 3rd place! Ekaterina came 8th in the individual competition, and also came away with a third medal for her place in the winning Sunday Chase (mixed school) team. The coaches are very proud of their outstanding achievements!  Congratulations to both teams and thank you to Ms Turner (Head of Maths) and Miss Churchman for accompanying them.

Stunning performance of our students in the ISMTF competition in Vienna

Ski trip to Astún, Huesca, Spain

53 pupils from Year 6 to Year 11 visited Astún on a ski trip. All pupils had a great experience, improved their skiing and made many new friends. Thank you to Mr Toal and his team for leading this trip and well done to all our pupils who attended.

Football mascot

Henry Howard of Y1MTI  had a lovely experience over half term when he was a Matchday Mascot for the Barnet FC versus Halesowen Town Cup match. He proudly showed me his certificate and autograph book which all the players had signed – well done, Henry!

Mr Fraser Sharp

Following Mr Sharp’s superb leadership in our recent production of Grease, he experienced the sad loss of his precious mum last week. The Aloha College family offers Mr Sharp its sincere condolences.

Uniform 

I would like to remind students that if they have chosen to wear the new school uniform, it must be worn in its entirety, with the school tie and blazer.  Shoes must be a smart, black formal shoe. No trainers/pumps of any sort are permitted, nor are brandings or logos. 

I ask parents to support us in this matter.

Aloha student at international conference – Amani Husaini, Y9 

I was thrilled today to listen of Amani’s experience at a 3-day conference in Vienna in February.  Called the Zero Project (“for a world without barriers”) it drew together organisations from all over the world which are dedicated to improving the life of children and adults with special needs.

Amani´s mum was speaking on behalf of the organisation she runs in Dubai – “Manzil” – which provides vocational training for people with disabilities aged from 4 to 26. 

As well as supporting her mum in this important mission, Amani was also at the conference as a student representative of Aloha College Marbella. Thank you, Amani, for representing us so proudly and for supporting such a very worthy initiative.

I wish you all a lovely weekend and thank you for all your support. 

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Batchelor
Principal


PRIMARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

 

 

 

Eco Club

Last term the Eco Club spent hours with Señorita Laura collecting plastic bottle tops and using them in a very creative challenge. They carefully and patiently selected the colours and sizes, placed them into shapes in a bid to share with us an important message about recycling.… At last we are very proud to show you the final result.

 

Year 6 Ski Trip
Congratulations to the Year 6 children who spent last week skiing in Astún, Northern Spain on their annual ski trip. Mr Toal tells me that the behaviour was excellent but the bravery award goes to Roberta Tye for her resilience and positivity following her injury.

Foundation Stage Science workshop
For the entry point of the new IPC unit ‘Change’  the Foundation Stage on Wednesday children had a special visit from the scientists in Year 8 and a ‘mad scientist’. They watched lots of experiments, observing all the changes they could see and especially loved the ‘Foaming Elephants Tooth’ experiment! The Reception children then took part in their own experiments with the Year 8 students and they enjoyed the special lesson very much.

NABSS Times Tables Rock Stars Competition
This week the children in Year 2 to Year 6 have been busy taking part in ‘́NABSS Rocks 2020’. In this times-tables competition, we are playing against other schools around Spain. Children have been busy on Times Tables Rock Stars answering as many questions as possible. Prizes will be awarded for the best players in the competition.

Call in & Collect postponed
For the time being this has been postponed. We will publish the new dates in the parent newsletter and the web calendar. Thank you for your understanding. This will be an opportunity for parents to come into school to look at their child’s learning environment just before collection time. The invites will normally be on a Friday from 15:30 to 15:50 h. 

Handball workshop
On Thursday Year 6 children supported the PE department in leading a Handball workshop for all of the Year 4 children.  This was a great way for the Year 6 children to develop their leadership skills in a variety of ways. The House Captains had specific roles of responsibilities focusing on using digital devices.  The footage that they captured will be edited and created into an iMovie independently, ready to be presented to the rest of the school. Well done to everyone involved!

House Points Spring 1
Sevilla – 3339
Granada – 3278
Córdoba – 3276

The Sevilla children enjoyed a reward afternoon yesterday.

Aloha Value Focus – Next half term EFFORT 
Personal Goal Target for March – MORALITY – Who helps us make the right choices?

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Salmon
Headteacher, Primary


SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Parents,

I remember as if it were yesterday; first day at school and I was waiting impatiently to find out who my maths teacher was going to be in Year 10. She entered the room confidently and, without even greeting the class, wrote: “Inequalities”. It was the best maths lesson I have ever had in my life!

Throughout my school years, I only had male Maths teacher until Year 10. I do not want to enter a debate about male and female teachers, particularly in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). However, I can proudly say that I am a maths teacher because of her! In fact, when I teach “Inequalities” to any of my groups, my mind goes back to the same classroom and I feel exactly the same excitement that I felt 25 years ago.

Coincidently, I recently read an article in a well known teaching magazine about another female school teacher who, 20 years ago, decided to develop her work in a school located in one of the poorest areas of Seville. This is an example of another woman who continues to inspire people. March is International Women’s History month so I thought it would be appropriate to write a few lines on this subject. 

Ms Churchman, in the maths department, is looking at the impact women have had in STEM jobs.  Are women equally represented in STEM careers? Are they as equally recognised for their work as men? In the US, approximately 25% of STEM workers are female and just 13% in the UK. Although more women are graduating from STEM degrees, the gender gap still exists as the number of men choosing STEM subjects is rising faster than the number of women. Only 20 women have won a Nobel prize in STEM subjects (excluding literature and peace) compared to 667 males.

While there are an increasing number of female academic role models on TV,  there are very few compared to males. We can see this in series such as The Big Bang Theory where they usually have male academics.

I am delighted to see our young scientists at Aloha College Marbella, determined to change this trend!

I hope you have a nice weekend

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.