Some of our ways of thinking have undoubtedly changed forever but where there are difficulties there are always opportunities. My colleagues and I have spent a lot of time in recent weeks deciding how best to make use of the new methods of communication available to us for the benefit of the wider ESMS community. The fact that we cannot organise and run live events for now, and perhaps for some time, has encouraged us to look for innovative ways to interact digitally. What might have been a problem is now instead an exciting challenge.

Wherever you are, whatever your generation and whatever your links to the schools we want you to feel that you are and will remain an important member of our extended ESMS community. We hope that you will stay in touch with us and perhaps even take part in some of the activities which we are planning which will build on our lockdown and summer programmes.

When we began our online events at the end of March we were not really sure how they would be received and there was certainly no masterplan in place! We trialled all sorts of activities and were both delighted and slightly surprised that almost all of them quickly established themselves as regular events. It has been very rewarding to have received so many emails from alumni, former and current parents and former colleagues who did not take part in any of the activities but who nevertheless wanted to say how much they appreciated the regular contact from their school.

And so to our planning! You will read below about some of our initiatives, as well as items of news and the first of what will become regular features. I use the phrase ‘the first of’ deliberately because we intend to continue our lockdown initiative by staying in touch with you. If you enjoy what you read, if you have any suggestions or ideas or if you think we are getting something wrong, please tell us – we really like to hear from you and we always reply in person!

I hope you will find something of interest in what follows and would like to highlight two items in particular about which you can read more below:

  • Our first community-wide quiz on Friday 25 September – teams of every level of ability and experience are welcome to join us for a light-hearted evening of quizzing!
  • Our ESMS community event in November, originally planned as a live event in The Dean, will now instead take place online. Although it seems very obvious now, I have to confess that we never really gave any consideration when we were planning events or encouraging attendance that we were only ‘talking’ to the tiny minority of our community who could be in Edinburgh at a particular time. Looking back that now seems very remiss of us which is why we are actively planning ‘live’ events online, some of which will also be recorded for later viewing by those who live in different time-zones where attendance would otherwise necessarily be at very anti-social hours!

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