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Welcome to the Cairns State High School community. This page has been created to assist new families become familiar with life at Cairns High. Learn more about making a smooth transition to high school. 

Life at Cairns High 


The Junior and Senior Assessment Policies have developed to inform students, parents/carers and teachers of the key principles and assessment requirements at Cairns State High School. The aim is to maximize the opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know and can do.  The process is designed to ensure fairness to all students carrying out assessment tasks.​ 

Attendance Policy ​

Cairns State High School expects that every student will attend school every day of the school year unless prevented by reasonable circumstances from doing so. The Attendance Policy aims to maximise participation in learning programs by all students.

Behaviour Expectations

The school’s behaviour expectations are outlined in the Responsible Behaviour Plan. 


Cairns High is serviced by services provided by Sunbus and Loves buses with drop off points in the immediate vicinity of the school. 


Cairns State High School has a busy annual calendar. This includes a wide range of events which are embedded in the culture of the school and include 

  • Cultural and creative performances and events  

  • Sporting events and also

  • Service activities and events 

Drop Off Zones 

Grafton Street is a one-way North bound street between Upward and Gatton Streets. There is clear signage for parking and drop off lanes. Students may wait for parents/carers in a fenced safety area between the BUS ONLY lane and car Drop (or collect) & Go Zone. 

Parents/carers are requested to adhere to the following Do’s and Don’ts to maximise safety for students and other people in the school community utilising this area.

​Do's ​Don'ts
Only use the Drop and Go Zone Don’t enter the BUS ONLY lane even if it is empty
Only drop off and collect from the Drop and Go Zone Don’t stop or drop/collect from the roadway.  This is very unsafe and is illegal.
Drive as far north as possible along the Drop and Go Zone before dropping off/collecting to allow for maximum number of cars to enter the zone. Don’t park at the start of the Drop and Go Zone.  This prevents others from entering the zone.
After 3.00pm move on if your child is not loading or in sight Don’t park in the Drop & Go Zone for more than 2 or 3 minutes


The school runs a one to one laptop program for year 10, 11 and 12 students.  From 2015 the school is running a BYOx program for years 7, 8 and 9 students with this program being extended to year 10, 11 and 12 students in 2016. Email information is also found on the eLearning page.


Students in years 11 and 12 are required to sit end of term and semester examinations in the designated exam blocks.  The dates for these blocks are in the calendar. 

Excellence Programs 

Cairn High offers Programs of Excellence in both the Junior and Senior School.  The programs are  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. 

Medication administration and Medical Conditions

The Department of Education and Training (DET) requires the collection of information relating to any students with a medical condition and/or who require medication while at school. This may be in emergency situations or short term administration. Please see Medical Condition letter, Administration of medication at school record sheet for routine/short term medication and emergency medications.

Mission and Values 

The Cairns High Guiding Statement establishes the school’s direction, defines its purpose and sets the school’s educational goals. Teaching and learning, the school’s planning and decision making processes, its policies and its operational systems align closely with the values and beliefs expressed in the guiding statement. 

P&C Association​

The P&C meets on the third Tuesday of every month at the Library from 5.30pm.​ All parents and carers welcome. Voluntary contributions can be made to support the P&C via the form on P&C page.

Resource Scheme 

Cairns State High School operates a Student Resource Scheme to lower the cost of providing textbooks, consumables and other personal resources for students.  Subject resource lists outline what is provided by the Student Resource Scheme and what students need to provide, and can be found on the Resource Scheme page. 

Rules and Policies 

Cairns State High School aims to ensure that students are supported by an environment that is organised and provides opportunities for students to achieve their best.  To this end the school has developed a number of policies which outline expectations and procedures for the school community. 

School Hours 

Classes at Cairns State High School commence at 8.40am and conclude at 3.00pm. 

School Map 

Cairns High is located on a 5ha block on the corner of Sheridan and Upward Streets. 

School Terms

School terms are set by the Queensland Government and may change slightly from year to year. 


At Cairns State High School subjects and programs are traditionally organised into faculties. 

Within each faculty, subjects cover requirements set out by the Australian Curriculum and Department of Education, Training and Employment for the Junior School; and the Queensland Studies Authority and the International Baccalaureate Organisation for the Senior School. 

Specialised Programs of Excellence are also offered by a number of faculties ensuring students are offered extension opportunities.  Students with special needs are support by the Teaching and Learning Faculty or the Centre for Diverse Learning. 

Staff List 

Staff is listed in in the Our Staff section of the website.  The list gives staff faculties and other roles, contact numbers and email via the staff name on the page. 

Student Diary 

Students are issued with a student diary on enrolment or at the beginning of the year.  The diary is for student organisation and provides valuable information about policies and procedures at the school. 

Student Services 

The student services team manage student attendance and absence data.  If a student is absent please phone the student absence line 40503066 or email

Student Support Programs 

Students are supported by a number of support personnel.  There are also a variety of programs offered depending on student needs. 

Uniform Policy 

Cairns State High School is a uniform school. Its dress standards reflect the community expectations and standards as determined by the Principal in consultation with school community representatives through the school’s uniform committee. The Uniform Policy includes specific information about appropriate footwear and jewellery.