Apple Distinguished School

Radford Junior School has been an Apple Distinguished School since 2017 and we’re pleased to be recognised again for 2022–2025.

Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation in learning, leadership and educational excellence. They use Apple technology to inspire creativity and critical thinking in learning, teaching and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

Our story and a series of insights about our use of technology in the Junior School are included below.

Click the links below for short video insights into our work at Radford Junior School.


Radford Junior School is the dynamic and inclusive junior component of a large co-educational Canberra college, catering for Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12. We continually work towards excellence in all areas of teaching and learning with the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program defining a dynamic, transdisciplinary, inquiry-based learning environment.

All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 have access to iPad to support and deepen student learning, with teachers using Mac and iPad.

Our Digital Learning staff team work collaboratively with teachers to support the rich and purposeful integration of technology.


Our vision for learning and the place of technology within that draws heavily on our IB PYP context. Our aim is to develop learners who are able to independently apply the use of technology to create positive change in local and global communities.

To achieve this we work to develop students’ skills in research (collecting data), critical thinking (evaluating and manipulating data) and communication (presenting their findings), teaching foundational skills early and releasing control over the course of students’ schooling until our learners are able to choose when and which technology is best suited to solving a problem. This is consistently done with the aim of developing our students’ ability to create products that inform, persuade, and allow them to take meaningful steps to effect change in the world. We see this as bringing our school values of Truth, Compassion and Wisdom to life through positive action.

Our College leadership values the evolution of our digital learning program, investing in the formal appointment of Digital Learning Leaders in the Junior School and supporting the transition from BYO laptops in Year 7 and 8 to iPad, demonstrating faith in the value of technology integration and the responsible staff team.


iPad learning

At Radford, teachers are intentional about how, why and when they integrate technology. We have curated a digital learning guide for teachers, designed to support children in using powerful, accessible and familiar software. Focusing on content rather than software enables students to personalise their learning experiences, and express their understanding creatively and in multiple modalities, deepening thinking and extending learning beyond the classroom. Prior to commencing the BYO program in Year 4, families have access to College-designed resources, including a series of instructional books to promote skill development and creative use of iPad.

To achieve meaningful technology integration we work with a range of theoretical frameworks: Puentedura’s SAMR model, Mishra and Koehler’s TPACK model, and Kolb’s Triple E framework. These help us establish clear guidelines for purposeful learning-oriented use of technology. Just as it is important in visual art or music to know when to leave space or silence, we are careful to ensure teachers consider when and why an offline activity may be best.

Student survey question – “Tell us about one piece of work you created on iPad of which you are most proud”.
Student responses

Our digital learning team seek to build capacity and confidence with colleagues, empowering them to make informed pedagogical decisions around technology integration. In 2022, we officially created Digital Learning Leader roles, with one classroom teacher appointed to support each stage (K–2; 3–4; 5–6). These are highly adept classroom teachers and IT users, whose expanded role includes viewing curriculum and pedagogical decisions through a learning technology lens. Additionally, they seek opportunities to weave the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum meaningfully into the PYP program of inquiry. The creation of these roles sends a powerful message to our community regarding the value we place on effective use of technology in learning.


Our teachers have been amazing over these COVID years, embracing remote learning with a resilient and student-focused approach. Our teachers quickly became skilled videographers and pivoted in class activities skilfully, readily designing digital work and learning resources for students. We celebrated our teachers’ achievements with a publication, “Celebration of Digital Learning” available on Apple Books.

Restrictions pie chart
"My parents use Restrictions (Screen Time, Downtime etc.,) on my iPad"

We have been dedicated to supporting parents with recommendations for healthy device use, and our recent survey findings indicate an increase in parents implementing screen time and downtime settings.

We have continued to ensure our Junior School teachers are Apple Teachers and we are growing our Apple Teacher community in our Secondary School. We promote the Apple Education Community as a hub for resources and ideas.

We have created resources that are readily accessible for our teachers, students and parents to best support their use of the device at school and at home and have successfully extended iPad into Year 7 and 8 with evidence of the success in our Junior School. We hold iToast professional learning sessions and share resources, working to model processes and pedagogies that can be used with students. Our recent Year 4-6 student survey indicates the range of valuable learning experiences with which our students engage on their iPad.

What’s next

Students on iPad

To ensure our continued success, we will work on vision setting with our Digital Learning team for the next 3 years, informed by regular collation of meaningful data through surveys, observations and other achievements. These teacher leaders will continue to build the collaborative capacity of their teams and will consolidate a cohesive and valuable Digital Technologies scope and sequence. An important aspect of consolidating this program is to share the experience and success and we plan to publish a Celebration of Digital Technologies Learning book in the next 12 months.

As we support colleagues, we also look for those who demonstrate exceptional interest in digital learning and seek to support their gathering of evidence towards the achievement of Apple Distinguished Educator. We hope to build our ADE team within the College at Radford.

We stay abreast of upcoming developments in iPad models, the iPad operating system, relevant apps and associated pedagogies to provide future-focused digital learning experiences for our students. We will continue to use data, including student and parent surveys and will engage periodically with the Apple Learning Technologies Survey - gaining insight from teachers about their experience of teaching with technology, to inform our staff learning needs.

To embrace further connectedness, as we emerge from the pandemic, we are fostering our connection with other local schools as well as the Apple Distinguished Schools around Australia.

Click the links below to view some of our guides and published resources.

Apple Distinguished School