About @Grefintec

  • Website: http://www.grefintec.co.uk
  • Email: email
  • Biography: Alison has enjoyed varied career to date; she has been a post doctoral research scientist working in the aquaculture industry, the manager of an award winning nursery and a small business owner developing interactive teaching resources. A keen volunteer, she is a former director of the 'Scottish Preschool Play Association' (recently renamed Early Years Scotland), she is an active STEM Ambassador and Parent Governor at her children's school. She has recently started the journey towards becoming a teacher. She has recently accepted a place on a SCITT to become a secondary biology teacher with science and commences her studies in September 2016.

Posts by @Grefintec:

The Benefit Of Experience

Posted by @Grefintec on 6th November 2016 in Reflective Blog |

This week I taught a lesson where we compared light microscopy with electron microscopy and I used some of the micrograph images I had taken during my time as a research scientist. When I was planning the lesson I didn’t think anything of it, I had the images, why not use them? However, when I came to deliver the lesson the level of engagement, simply because I had been the photographer and had used electron microscopes as part of my work was amazing. I I had brought something extra to lesson, introducing real life experience of what it is like to work as a biologist.

At first glance, you may assume that someone who specialised in a niche as small as aquatic immunology would only have a limited amount of related experience to add to studies in ‘general’ biology. However, the opposite is true, because the niche is so small I had to be a master of all trades. I worked in a variety of laboratories including: radiation, genetics, vaccine, bacteriology, parasitology and nutrition. I did everything from make monoclonals, collect and purify bacteria, artificial insemination, use light, electron and confocal microscopes, carry out data analysis, plan and carry out experimental studies, PCR, SDS-PAGE, immunological assays eg ELISA, lysozyme, NBT respiratory burst. I worked as a flow cytometry technician during the final year of my PhD. I supervised BSc and MSc projects and presented work at multi-national conferences. The list continues!

In A-Level biology there is a unit on monoclonals, I imagine that there are not many biology teachers who have actually made them themselves!

Pupils looking at micrographs for the first time, especially with knowledge that I had taken the photographs myself generated a lot of interest and engagement in the topic, it really helped to make the lesson a success. This continued with the following lesson where a class of year 7’s were introduced to the topic of pathogens and were literally open mouthed when I told them that I had made vaccines before.

The fact that I have worked as a biologist and am able to share what I did as part of my lessons increases pupils engagement in their learning in a way that I really had not anticipated. I feel like I have won the lottery!

Streak plate of the gram negative bacteria Flavobcterium psychrophilum

Streak plate of the gram negative bacteria Flavobacterium psychrophilum


Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under light microscope

Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under light microscope


Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under transmission electron microscope

Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under transmission electron microscope


Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under scanning electron microscope

Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under scanning electron microscope


Biofilm of Flavobacterium psychrophilum

Biofilm of Flavobacterium psychrophilum viewed under scanning electron microscope


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Bucket List

Posted by @Grefintec on 10th September 2016 in Child care |

Our au pair has settled in really well into family life and we are all enjoying her company tremendously. The kids think that she is fab and Boots the dog is being well and truly spoilt.   As a gift and also a means to help her settle in I created a bucket list of […]

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First Day at School: Learning to be Brave

Posted by @Grefintec on 7th September 2016 in All About Me |

First day and nerves aplenty. But today is about being brave so here it goes. Assertiveness is not always my strong point but I was able to swallow my nerves and share an example of being negatively labelled by a teacher, to the whole school staff team. A label I aimed to overcome in the creative […]

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A potential solution to the problem that is the ‘c’ word.

Posted by @Grefintec on 24th August 2016 in Child care |

Planning prior to commencing my PGCE is not just about knowing the curriculum and ensuring that my subject knowledge is at an appropriate level. Before I can even take a step out of the door, I have to know that my children are going to be safe, secure and cared for. That’s right, the ‘c’ […]

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Access Diploma in Science – Preliminary Results!

Posted by @Grefintec on 20th August 2016 in Me and My Subject Specialism - What am I ready to teach? |

I completed my Access Diploma in Science recently – hurrah! I am hoping that the subject knowledge that I have accrued over the past 12 months will match with what I have to teach and reduce the earlier gaps in my subject knowledge. I am thrilled with my results, although not confirmed yet as they […]

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First Aid Training

Posted by @Grefintec on 9th August 2016 in All About Me |

Since January this year I have worked as a General Teaching Assistant (SEN), working one to one with a little girl with a global developmental delay. It truly has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I have enjoyed every minute of it.   From September, nursery practitioners in England will […]

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Getting Ready – Teacher’s Standards

Posted by @Grefintec on 14th July 2016 in Getting Started |

I know that in order to complete my PGCE and subsequent NQT year I need to collect evidence that my teaching meets the eight teaching standards. I am hoping that the fact that I have completed the evidence based vocational qualification Childcare LEarning and Devlopment (SVQ3), should help me to to do this. Similarly the Assessor […]

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The Language of Mathematics in Science

Posted by @Grefintec on 14th May 2016 in Getting Started |

The Association for Science Education (ASE) aim to promote excellence in science teaching and learning. Whilst not a member I registered to receive regular newsletters and am an avid follow on Twitter. They offer regular CPD opportunities and when I spotted an opportunity to attend a workshop entitled ‘The Language of Mathematics in Science‘. I was […]

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My TES Shop is Open!!

Posted by @Grefintec on 25th March 2016 in Resources |

I have just put the finishing touches to my TES Shop. So far I only have four resources to download (all free) but this will increase as time goes on. Check it out here: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/Grefintec  

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Ladybird Counting Tins (0-5) Early Numeracy Resource

Posted by @Grefintec on 19th March 2016 in Resources |

I created these tins for use in my former nursery where they were enjoyed by children aged 2.5 years to school age. On one side are the ladybirds with 0 – 5 spots and on the reverse the number is written. The tins were left on one of the radiators and the children accessed them when they chose. […]

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