Month: October 2014

Party On, Homework Club!

We had The Homework Club yesterday, Tuesday 22nd of October, for Creative Writing with a twist! We got into the Halloween spirit to write about, and draw, some ghoulish characters. Spooky music filled the room getting us into a party mood as we dug into jellies and Taytos. Some of the children even got in the mood to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller (link below)! Thank you Yvonne and Antoinette, from the Northside Family Resource Centre, for making it a special occasion for all. It was also one of the girls, Jade’s, birthday yesterday! We hope you had a great day! Have a great mid-term next week and be sure not to scare anyone too badly whilst Trick or Treating. See you soon! Mwahahaha!

Honey at The Hub

On Wednesday morning, the 15th of October,  7 wooden frames were taken out of The Learning Hub’s beehive. (Images courtesy of Bernie Hannan. Thanks, Bernie!)

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The beehive itself was formed 6 months ago with the introduction of 500 bees. There are now up to 10,000 of them in residence. Inside the hive are 4 chambers in which the wooden frames sit. From the 7 frames taken out of it today, 16 jars of honey were collected! Sweet! In addition to that, 2 big tubs of beeswax were gathered! You never know, we may make Learning Hub-style candles out of it yet!

Bee Hive

Swipe Workshops!

We at The Learning Hub are having fun with Photoshop! The pictures below are an example of the images that we will be working with during the upcoming workshops. You can fly through the air like Superman, climb the tallest cliffs or appear on the Moon! The possibilities are endless! We look forward to seeing the results!


Happy and Hallowe’en in Creative Writing!

Yesterday we had The Homework Club back with us in Creative Writing. We decided to split them into two groups. One group took a break from the spookiness of our ghost stories and we let their creativity flow into a variety of spectacular drawings of castles and animals. The kids were then able to take their work home with them. Some of the ideas for their Happily Ever After stories can be seen below:

Creative Writing Happy

The other group relished the chance to continue with the ghost stories they gave us ideas for last week.


Many a zombie, ghost and vampire appeared and had their moment in the spotlight as our young writers thwarted them in various adventures. We would like to thank the members of the Northside Family Resource Centre for their support and we hope they had fun writing happy and spooky stories too! 

Google Nexus 7 Review (2013 version)


The Nexus has a 5Mpx rear camera that performed well during testing. Even on a typical overcast Irish day I was impressed with the amount of colour captured by the camera both indoors and out(examples below). The camera’s auto-focus feature worked well, leaving me with little to do but point and press the button. The ability to move the point of focus to a particular person/area makes it easier to get maximum quality on the main subject of your picture. Another cool feature is the 360 panorama mode. This mode guides you through taking a series of images from a fixed point, then they are stitched together to form a full 360 view of your surroundings(see below).

Standard mode

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Panorama mode






Equipped with a Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad Core Processor clocked at 1.5Ghz(accompanied by 2GB of ram), the tablet had no issues running any of the apps tested during my evaluation. These apps ranged from Instagram to high end games with no noticeable loss in performance. The Google store has caught up with Apple in terms of the amount of apps available and with support for other independent stores there is a wide variety of apps available for the Android system.

The tablet has a 7 inch LED screen with a 1980*1200 resolution. This provides a clear and colourful display with no visible pixalation on text or icons. Viewing angles are good but can it can be occasionally hard to see in daylight (especially while playing any games that require tilting the device). As this is an issue with all tablets/smartphones I have used, it is hard to be too critical on this point. The touch controls on the device are very responsive allowing smooth navigation of the system and control of apps.

There is a speaker on either side of the the back of the tablet to create a stereo effect if held in landscape mode. The sound was clear and loud enough to enjoy a movie but I found music sounded hollow so headphones are recommended if you want to get good quality sound.

This version of the Nexus comes with 16GB of storage and doesn’t support the option to add more space via SD card like many similar devices. This might be limiting for some but with so many options to host files online (e.g. cloud storage) there are ways around this problem if needs be.

With a great screen for watching movies, enough processing power for high end games and a decent enough camera to snap a few pics, I found the Nexus to be a great device. The main criticisms of the device would be the storage restrictions (which can be overcome with online storage) and that a 5Mpx camera is average by todays standards. For me the camera performed well and for the current price this tablet is good value for money.

Getting Spooky!

With Hallowe’en around the corner, volunteers got spooky for the Northside Family Resource Centre Homework Club here in the Hub on Tuesday September 30th. We played Name Games and Chinese Whispers both of which gave us hilarious results from the children involved and gave us a chance to get to know them. We got on to the spooky side of our class when we asked the children for ideas on what scares them. Below are the results written on our flip-chart. We at the Hub would like to thank representatives of the Northside Family Resource Centre for their support and time. We cannot wait for next week! Mwahahaha!