Back in 2011, after watching The Social Network and drinking several beers, a group of university students decided they would make their own online enterprise idea a reality.
Sitting in our student flat, we contemplated how best to share our ideas for games and activities. As trainee teachers, we’d often shared thoughts and good ideas with one another, but we had so many kicking around in our heads that it seemed daft to do anything other than compile them into some form of list. We thought about writing them up and keeping a copy centrally at the campus library, but decided that this wouldn’t be very productive as only one person would be able to access it at any one time, and so we decided to build a website.
What a nightmare that turned out to be. I only knew minimal amounts of HTML and CSS, and building an entire website with users and logins was well out of my capability. Neither George or Adam knew how to build a website either, and we ended up compiling our first set of ideas as a PDF anyway, and sticking a link to download the booklet on a simple webpage. To this day, we’ve still got a copy of that first PDF.
Things ticked along for several months, and eventually started slowing down. The three of us had so much on with university assignments and personal stuff that the project took a bit of a dive. That is, until Dutch developer Stan got involved. I’d known Stan from a few other things we’d worked on together – as I’d used my web design skills and matched them with his understanding of web development. Stan offered a hand and built us our first few working sites, allowing us to register users, search for games and even built us a Microsoft app.
The database of games continued to grow over the next few months, as it was now also easier to add games to the website thanks to Stan’s innovative admin panel. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep up with the site and in late 2013 (after we’d all graduated and become employed as full-time teachers) I pulled the plug on the site, taking it offline for the first time since 2011.
Between 2013 and 2016, I left the project alone, using the original PDF for ideas from time to time. I continued to keep in touch with Stan, George and Adam and enjoyed my time working in a wonderful rural school teaching a mixed age class of years 3-6. As an NQT, it was an absolute baptism of fire, and contributed somewhat to the lack of time and final decision to shut down the database of games.
Over the first three years of teaching, as I gathered confidence and found I had small pockets of time to start thinking about our original idea of the biggest collection of games and activities for primary schools. In June 2016, I decided to restart the 1001 Primary Games project with a new look, simpler website and more awesome games.
I hope you like it!