We are here to help our students reach their full potential
Phoenix College Málaga offers A-level courses and PCE (selectividad) subjects for Year 12 and 13. We are an independent day-school located in the centre of Málaga.
We also provide expert advice regarding UCAS applications to UK and international universities.
We help each student to develop his or her academic, social, and emotional skills in preparation for exams, university and life.
The matriculation process for the academic year 2020-21 is now open. You can find out more here.
Meet the teachers at Phoenix College
History and Social Sciences
Read Mr Riley's bio
James John Riley (AKA Jim Riley), was born and educated in Manchester, UK. He went to the prestigious Manchester Grammar School for Boys, followed by Durham University and Manchester University.
He is passionate about teaching and learning, and has taught in secondary schools in the UK and Spain, since 1992. He has taught many subjects including History, Geography, Thinking Skills, Politics, Business Studies, Philosophy, Pyschology and Physical Education, up to the age of 18. He has held numerous management posts, such as Head of Humanities (History and Geography), Co-ordinator of IGCSEs, and Head of Year. The results of the students have always been of a high standard, with many of them receiving the highest marks in Spain for “A” Level History and continuing onto universities in Spain, Britain (including Oxford and Cambridge) and the rest of the world.
James is an experienced traveller, having visited Latin America, The Middle East, Asia and Europe. In the last 5 years he has travelled independently to Sri Lanka and Morocco, with his son, who is currently 10 years old. He and his son have volunteered, for the last three years, at The Foundation of Goodness, in Seenigama, Sri Lanka, where they have taught English, chess, cooking and sports.
James is a keen sportsman and plays cricket weekly, with his son for The Costa del Sol Cricket Club. He played rugby union from the age of seven to the present day for Old Bedians R.U.F.C and Axarquia club de rugby.
James has lived in Málaga since 2001, and is a founding member of The Phoenix College of Malaga. He believes that the college will change students’ lives for the better and prepare them for their future educational journey.
Chemistry and Biology
Read Miss Ridyard's bio
Originally from a small town in Northumberland, England, Kirsty attended a state comprehensive school then went on to graduate from Oxford University with a BA and MA in Biochemistry. Kirsty taught biology and chemistry to A level and GCSE in London in top state schools and an independent sixth form college before coming to Spain in 2005. She has QTS, NQT and 25 years experience of teaching science from year 7 to year 13. Her management roles have included Head of Subject, Head of Science, Head of Year and most recently KS5 Coordinator.
Kirsty has over 20 years experience of advising students’ UK university applications via UCAS. She feels that the key to a successful application is matching a student’s talents, as well as wishes, to the right course. She has helped students gain places at Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London and many more, to read a whole range of courses including Medicine, Engineering, Business Management and International Relations.
Kirsty has worked for Pearson Edexcel as a senior examiner since 2001 in A level Biology, a challenging role that she feels has helped her become a more effective teacher. Though native English, she is proud to have learned Spanish to an “almost-fluent” level, and loves travelling. Kirsty always insists that “The best bit of being a teacher is being in the classroom with the students”.
Physics and Mathematics
Read Mr Mitchell's bio
Alex is an enthusiastic and proven Science teacher with more than 20 years of experience in both London and Málaga, Alex will be looking to deliver A-levels tailored to the needs of individual students.
Alex is always looking for ways in which to make his teaching more relevant and engaging and is constantly upgrading his skills in the areas of Maths and Physics teaching. Having graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Natural Sciences degree in 1989, Alex has continued with his professional development by completing a number of relevant courses and has most recently completed a course with the Open University on Applied Mathematics (MS224) and a Certificate in Physics for teachers which is recognised by the Institute of Physics.
I have always been a relatively independent learner and the great thing about Phoenix College Málaga (to some extent because the British educational system is used) is that the autonomy granted with respect to our studies, rather than being intimidating turns out to be liberating, acting as ideal preparation for university. I don´t intend it to be understood however that the teachers adopt a laissez-faire approach to their teaching. In Chemistry, to take one example, the teacher was always on hand to help with any queries I may have had and in the case of Chemistry these were many as I found it a difficult subject.
I was also lucky to be part of a fantastic group of students who all worked to get the most out of each other. Perhaps this was the key; the people with whom I shared these last two years at Phoenix. I was always surrounded by a spirit of support where, if a teacher was not readily available to help with an issue, there was always a friend ready to help out in any way they could.
The experience as a parent of a student at Phoenix College Málaga has been magnificent. I would highlight three aspects that I consider basic in education:
1.- The quality of the teaching based on the teachers and their involvement in the project.
2.- The reduced size of the classes that makes it possible for these teachers to offer an almost personalized teaching to the needs of each student.
3.- And that, at the same time, it is carried out in an environment of autonomy for the student who is treated as a pre-university student, promoting their individual responsibility.
In summary, we are very happy that our daughter has completed her A levels in a college with such high teaching quality and at the same time has been trained to tackle her next challenge: the University
Ms. Ridyard was key in my development as a student and as a professional. I remember being 15 and really struggling with chemistry and physics, worried that I would not pass my science IGCSE’s. Thanks to her passion for the subject, her relentlessness to help me truly understand, and many hours sitting with me after school, I managed to get an A*. I was proud of myself, but more than that, I was extremely grateful for what she did. She was the support system on our UCAS journey, guiding all students through a complex application system to get into English universities and believing in the best versions of ourselves, pushing us to follow our dreams.
I had Mr Riley for A Level History. He made his class enjoyable and interesting. He had a different type of charisma that nobody else had in school and EVERYONE loved him. I never met anyone who had anything against him. He cared for his students and always managed to bring the best out of each one of us. He was so encouraging and always made us feel like we could do better. I feel sorry for everyone who doesn’t have the chance of learning History with Mr Riley.
Alex Mitchell is a highly respected and committed teacher and professional. He has been Head of Science throughout the school’s history, overseeing a team of 5 teachers and a full time Science Technician. Alex was particularly well regarded by students, parents and staff alike, and he had a superb academic record of achievement with his exam classes at both IGCSE, AS and A level.
Miss Ridyard. Brilliant. Devoted. Inspiring. Magnificent. No matter what words I come up with it feels like they don’t do her justice. I’ve never been good with science, and I was pretty sure it was the one GCSE I was going to fail, until Miss Ridyard appeared brandishing a red pen that promised both carnage and salvation….. she believed in me even when I was ready to tear my own hair out. Our friendly chats between lessons, her passion and her generosity have stayed with me to this day
Jim Riley is an outstanding teacher. First of all, he has extensive subject knowledge and ensures, through skilful teaching, that students, too, acquire high- level knowledge of the subjects. More important still, from my point of view, Jim has the ability to help students develop deep understanding and broad- ranging skills. Like a great storyteller, he has the ability to draw people into the narrative, to want to know and understand more. He motivates, challenges, and inspires. His history students, for example, come to appreciate that we can only understand the present and prepare for the future if we analyse and comprehend the past. One of the phrases I used to represent our approach in St. George’s schools is ` Learning for the future, learning from the past.’ I cannot think of anyone who has better represented that view in his teaching.
I cannot remember a single year where I didn’t have Mr Mitchell for a teacher. Biology, chemistry, maths, and my all favourite with him, physics. He always tried to make us love science and enjoy learning. As well as all the great moments lived with him, all the trips he took us to.
I had Miss Ridyard and Mr Mitchell during most of my last years, and I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the grades to enter the University of Southampton to study Mechanical Engineering (where I managed to get a first)…. Miss Ridyard was also the person who encouraged me to study in the UK, so I can only be thankful to her…. They didn’t just teach the syllabus, they were committed to help each one of us to make sure we achieved our best level and they made us be interested and passionate about what we were studying.
To me Mr. Riley has been the most inspiring and memorable teacher I have ever had. It was he who influenced me to go on to study History at the University of Sussex and achieve a First Class Degree. He has by far been the biggest influencer in my life and without him I would not have achieved everything I have today. Subsequently I have gone onto study a Masters in International Commercial Law and the University of Exeter and become a trainee solicitor in London. Without Mr. Riley, I could not have gone on to achieve all I have.
Mr. Mitchell was definitely one of the teachers I enjoyed spending time with the most. I looked forward to his classes because of his enthusiasm and knowledge of Physics. As a result, he is probably to blame for my passion in physics and for my decision of going on to study engineering at college. Mr. Mitchell would always go one step ahead and try to get students to explore the subject beyond the syllabus.
Mr. Riley and Miss Ridyard were an integral part of my being made an offer to study at the University of Oxford, where I have just completed my BA. They were not only helpful with the application process, dedicating their time to ensure that I was presenting my best self, they also challenged me and motivated me for years making me a much better candidate, student and person. It would be impossible to quantify all that I have learnt from them, I can only say that they are wonderful teachers
Mr. Riley, the history teacher, is irreplaceable. He made me enjoy history since I was 12 years old. As a teacher he was dynamic, passionate and entertaining; he allowed for discussion and always made us think critically. We didn’t just cover the syllabus but we also went deep into current affairs and the historical impact on the present.
Miss Ridyard is the whole reason why I still have faith in teaching. She has always been and will always be my Biology and Chemistry teacher. Without her, I would not have applied to British University, I would not have pursued my career as biomedical researcher, and I would not be the person I am right now. She never gave up on me, or on anyone else. Teaching us about Science, and most important of all, about how to tackle life. She made us feel like a big family.
As for Mr Mitchell, without him I would not be the scientist I am today, I would not have excelled in my university studies and academic research.