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Rosewood’s positive approach to numeracy

Rosewood students measuring accurately to make the best play-do​ugh.

​​​​​​​Rosewood teachers are being trained to maintain a positive mindset to help develop their students’ interest, motivation and confidence in mathematics.

Rosewood State School Head of Curriculum, Dagmar Rowlands​ says the Positive Agile Learners (PALs) framework provides teachers with a shared understanding and common language of learning, which encourages students to be more creative, positive and resilient.

“Developing a positive environment with a common language can reduce fixed mindsets and foster the development of a growth mindset among students,” Ms Rowlands​ said.

“Our teachers have been up skilled​ to use inquiry in maths lessons, so if a student is having difficulty we use words like ‘hit a roadblock’ and students are encouraged to take learning into their own hands rather than feeling silly or not smart enough.

“PALs is about cultivating flexible, dynamic and hard-working students who respond to feedback, learn from setbacks and work in teams - we want them to be able to cope with all of the different situations that will be thrown at them in life.” she said.

Rosewood State School began the PALs project in 2014 and introduced Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) at the same time.

Ms Rowlands​ says the combination has led to an improvement in engagement and positivity in learning among the primary school’s nearly 300 students.

“For the last two years we have scored 100% in all of the PBL audit tools, and our results and learning and behaviour outcomes have all improved quite significantly as well. 

The students also really enjoy the activities and the fact there’s a greater element of choice in their learning -​ they like that they can prove their answer in different ways, they can show it and work in teams, they’re not limited to writing or working in an isolated way.

It’s empowering the students in their learning and students are actively and happily engaged in their learning and reflecting on their learning. “It brings learning alive and makes it visible; you can see learning actually taking place.​" she said.

For more information on the PALs framework, visit the school’s website​.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
23 October 2018