Cairns State High School has, over many years, established strong traditions and a reputation for excellence and innovative practice. The school is proud to be an internationally-accredited school and an IB World School. These accreditations recognise that the school meets an extensive set of international standards and is committed to ongoing improvement.

Cairns State High School recognises that every child is unique with individual dreams and needs. By tradition, the school is committed to achieving the very best possible educational outcomes for each and every student. This is achieved through a rigorous and flexible curriculum with opportunities in academic, arts and sporting excellence.

A caring, supportive and very dedicated staff work professionally to ensure the programs at the school provide education of a high standard. Staff continue to add to and extend the innovative programs at the school to ensure the inclusion of the latest technologies and curriculum developments.

Facilities: 150-seat auditorium including two purpose built science laboratories, Crosswell Hall – a venue for year level assemblies, formal ceremonies, parent meetings with a seating capacity of 750, The Library – with flexible learning areas, broadband wireless connection and laptops for student use, Performing Arts Block – allows delivery of quality programs in Music, Dance, Multi Media, Digital Art and Film and Television, Sports Complex – a multi-purpose indoor and outdoor facility sporting facility catering for international standard competition and training for excellence programs, various shaded and non-shaded seating areas around the school offer space for students to congregate during breaks, the Senior Memorial Area – built in 1996 in memory of students killed in the 1987 Cairns High bus crash, forms an important part of school history and tradition and is a designated Senior Student Area, extensive lawn areas, paved and shaded areas as well as established garden beds, 12 Computer Laboratories including a dedicated Robotics Facility and additional mobile suites of laptops, 9 Science Laboratories, 3 dedicated Macintosh Computer Labs, Resource room for large scale digital printing, 5 dedicated Art rooms including a kiln room for ceramics, Photography room and a fully equipped photographic dark room, 11 Practical Arts rooms for furnishing, engineering, industrial design and technology hospitality/catering practices and textile studies, a Sick Bay – with a full time attendant, Canteen – with outside catering capacity.

Subjects/Electives Years 7 to 10: English, Health & Physical Education, Languages other than English (Chinese, Italian, Japanese), Mathematics, Science (Maths Science Extension, Science, Practical Science), Studies of Society and Environment (History, Geography), Technology (Business Education, Graphics, Home Economics, Industrial Design, Industrial Technology, Information & Communication Technology, Introduction to Hospitality), The Arts (Art, Art Extension, Creative Arts, Digital Art, Drama, Dance, Instrumental Music, Music, Practical Music).

Subjects/Electives Years 11 and 12: Authority Subjects – Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies, Accounting, Aerospace Studies, Ancient History, Biology, Business Communications & Technologies, Business Organisation & Management, Chemistry, Dance, Drama, Economics, English, Film, Television & New Media, Geography, Graphics, Home Economics, Information Processing & Technology, Japanese, Legal Studies, Mathematics, Modern History, Music, Music Extension – Performance (Year 12 only), Physical Education, Physics, Visual Arts.

Authority Registered Subjects – Cert II Business Workplace Practices, Certificate II in Hospitality, Certificate III in Children’s Services, Certificate III in Fitness, English Communication, Manufacturing (Certificate I in Engineering), Manufacturing (Certificate I in Furnishing), Marine & Aquatic Practices, Media Studies, Music Studies, Photo-imaging studies, Prevocational Mathematics, Recreation Studies, Tech Theatre, Tourism, Visual Art Studies.

International Baccalaureate – Biology, Business and Management, Chemistry, Creativity Action Service (CAS), English, Environmental Systems and Society, Extended Essay (EE), Film, Geography, Italian, Japanese, Mathematics High Level (Online), Mathematics Standard Level, Mathematics Studies, Music, Physics, Psychology (Online), Theatre Arts, Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Visual Arts.

Sport: Cairns State High School also hosts a strong sporting program including an Inter-House Swimming Carnival as well as Cross County and Athletics Carnival.

Extracurricular activities: Debating; Public Speaking; OPTI Minds; National Competitions – English, Science, Mathematics, Computer Skills; New Einstein’s Science Show; Constitutional Convention; Youth Parliament; INTAD Awards; Business Liaison Association Awards & Expos; Musicals; Battle of the Bands; Fanfare; Music Productions; Cairns & District Junior Eisteddfod; Musically Outstanding Students (MOST) program: Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Art; CAD Fashion Parade; Extravaganza, Dance, Drama and Music Evenings; Bulldogs Cheer Squad; Community Performances; Master Classes; International Dance Festivals; ANZAC Parades; Remembrance Day Ceremonies; Storytelling at Primary Schools; Formal Parades; Queensland Cancer Doorknock Appeal; Jeans for Genes Day; Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal; Relay for Life; 40 hour Famine; World’s Greatest Shave; Daffodil Day and local charities; Senior Camp; Dances; Helping Friends; Rock and Water Mentoring Programs; Scripture Union in School/Chaplaincy Program; Yoga Meditation.

Welfare and personal development: Student Support team to assist students who are struggling with life at school and at home, led by a Guidance Officer with a range of both internal and external staff providing support for students on a needs basis.

Special features: Year 12 students participate in an annual skiing trip to New Zealand in the September holidays, Japanese LOTE students visit Japan in alternate years and are hosted by Cairns’ sister city Oyama. Various Programs of Excellence are offered in Junior and/or Senior School and either run as subjects in the timetable or as additional programs before or after school. The programs are very popular and entry is via application and/or an audition process. Entry into the Academic and International Baccalaureate Programs of Excellence will require students to sit an academic aptitude test.

School Information

  • Type: Government
  • Coeducational or single-sex: Coeducational

  • Faith-based: None
  • Year: Year 7 - Year 12
  • Day/Boarding: Day School
  • Interview Required Upon Enrolment: No
  • International Baccalaureate Programs offered:
  • ESL Support: N/A
  • Scholarships Available: No
  • Gifted and Talented Program: N/A
  • Preschool or Early Learning Centre:
  • After School Care/ OOSH Options:
  • Fees: Free (Government School)
  • Address:Cnr Sheridan and Upward Streets, Cairns North Qld 4870
  • Phone:07 4050 3033
  • Fax:07 4051 5972

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