Apple Distinguished School

We are delighted to be recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2021–2024. Having Digital Pedagogy at the heart of our 1:1 device deployment has allowed us to explore, design and create our own curriculum. Across Teaching and Learning here at Kelso High School, our iPad deployment has been key to engaging in Formative Assessment and Collaborative Learning approaches and is fundamental to our project-based learning approach.

Our Story

Download Our Story here.


Exceptional leadership is key to the realisation of the Kelso vision. We seek to develop this in our staff, curriculum leaders and in our young people.

We are part of a national excellence group with a select group of Headteachers in Scotland – with the core aim of maximising the positive potential of mobile technology for enhancing Teaching and Learning.

We host leadership development sessions for all our middle and senior leadership staff – focused on driving innovation and improvement.  We use Apple Leadership training and coaching from APLS to aid our extended leadership team in developing the best use of iPad to enhance teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Our student leaders attend and contribute at leadership meetings, allowing them to develop their skills in leadership, digital technology and communication.

80% of our staff are Apple Teachers.         

We showcase our progress to other schools in the Borders, Scotland and across the UK. 

Our leadership team use iPad as their core means of facilitating development sessions remotely using Teams. iPad has allowed us to collaborate and engage creatively. 

Our vision and the power of technology to bring it to life has opened up opportunities for active learning, with Kelso High School linking closely with our associated Primary schools, our community and other partners. 


At Kelso, we have embedded and continue to strive for innovative learning that is connected, collaborative, creative and personal. Our 1:1 iPad deployment has allowed us to stay connected with the wider community: pupils, parents, staff and other outside agencies.   We had a running start in lockdown in creating opportunities for our young people to learn both asynchronously and synchronously, using both recorded lessons and live Teams meetings.  We have delivered parental engagement sessions through innovative use of iPad and our in School iPad development team run CLPL sessions for school, cluster and regional staff.  Our staff participate in sessions hosted by the regional Inspire Development Team and RTC.

Collaborating with the wider education community is integral to our school.  We have established links with colleges,  businesses and other schools across Scotland. These links have allowed us to mitigate the challenges of our rurality.  For example, pupils use iPad to join classes and courses remotely.  Using collaborate tools such as Pages, Keynote, Teams and OneNote allows our learners to work with staff and young people across the Scottish Borders and beyond, to make informed decisions about their learning through resources such as our new course choices.

We use iPad to give pupils personalised feedback through audio recordings in English and screen recordings of worked examples in subjects such as Mathematics. Interactive and engaging lessons are delivered where young people play an active part in shaping their own learning. Our 1:1 digital devices facilitate the delivery of interactive, engaging lessons, where young people play an active part in shaping their own learning. This 1:1 deployment has transformed both the way teachers and learners monitor progress, particularly using OneNote and Teams.

Young people are supported to use the accessibility features of their devices to ensure they reach their potential.  iPad and its accessibility features allow our learners to develop independence in their own learning – valuable skills for life, learning and work.


We proactively seek and analyse relevant data to consider how our learning offer can improve. Data originates from parental surveys, focus groups with learners, peer surveys set by our pupil parliament and departments.  Our parental events almost all stated they would like these to be a regular event to empower them to support their child’s learning and this led to this approach being used across the local authority and highlighted nationally.

Accessibility tools on the iPad and access to 1 to 1 devices made electronic exam papers accessible to all.  Improved outcomes for our learners measured externally in our SSLN and SQA results encouraged wider use.  For example in English, the move to verbal feedback showed visible improvement in results for learners. 

We snapshot learners’ classroom experiences using iPads and QR codes, giving a whole school picture of learner experiences at given points. This data is then analysed to drive improvement across all areas of school life. iPad has also played a key role within our Professional Learning programme and allowed staff to work collaboratively within our cluster, as well as regionally and nationally to drive improvement across teaching and learning.

What's Next

We will continue to drive innovation in our school, with iPad being the lynchpin. We look forward to building on our successes, providing opportunities for parents and carers to increase their own literacy of iPad functions and apps, allowing them to support learning in the home as. We look to empower young people to further embed digital solutions and approaches to their learning, which is at the heart of our curriculum rationale. We will seek to collaborate with other ADS schools across the country and globally, to foster enduring links and to ensure our young people are ready for the workplaces and society of the future.

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