Beyond the classroom

Cairns State High School offers students vast opportunities to involve themselves in co-curricular activities and to enhance their educational experiences. There is a busy year-round calendar of special events which is facilitated by committed staff and students. Participation in such activities brings increased self-esteem and confidence, and the satisfaction of working successfully in a team.  

Extra-Curricular Activities 

Academic Activities

  • Rotary Public Speaking;
  • Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader;
  • The great Pi recital;
  • Maths Team Challenge;
  • OPTI-Minds;
  • Spelling Bee competition;
  • National Competitions – English, Science, Mathematics, Computer Skills;
  • Science Engineering Challenge;
  • JCU Titration competition;
  • Constitutional Convention and Youth Parliament;
  • INTAD Awards;
  • Business Liaison Association Awards & Expos.

Arts Activities

  • School Musicals;
  • Instrumental Fanfare;
  • Choral Fanfare;
  • Class Clown competition;
  • Improvisation Comedy night;
  • Cairns & District Junior Eisteddfod;
  • Musically Outstanding Students (MOST) program:
  • Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Art;
  • CAD Fashion Parade;
  • Reach Visual Arts: Excellence awards;
  • Music Evenings;
  • Dance Evening;
  • Drama Evening;
  • Arts Sydney Tour (2018); 
  • Community Performances; and
  • Master Classes.

The school maintains a number of gallery spaces to showcase student creative works.

Community Service Activities

  • ANZAC Parades;
  • ANZAC Day Dawn service (War graves and Esplanade), Ecumenical Service
  • Remembrance Day Ceremonies;
  • National Day of Action against Violence and Bullying at Parramatta SS
  • Formal Parades.

Fundraising for Charities

  • Friends of Himalayan Children: Library for Batase
  • 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.

Student Welfare/Support

  • Senior Camp;
  • Junior Dance;
  • Helping Friends;
  • Rock and Water Mentoring Programs.


  • Scripture Union in School/Chaplaincy Program; and
  • Yoga Meditation.

Sporting Activities

Cairns State High School hosts a strong sporting program including:

  • The whole school Inter-House Swimming Carnival at Tobruk Pool;
  • A Cross County event at the esplanade; and
  • The annual whole school Athletics Carnival at Barlow Park.

In Semester One, Senior students have the opportunity to participate in various sports through the Cairns Interschool Sports Association (CISSA) competition.

In Semester Two, students in Year 9 (and 8 and 7) engage in Junior Secondary Sport.

Throughout the year students may also participate in the Trinity Coast North (TCN) Trials for selection in Peninsula and consequently State and National teams / competitions.

Additionally, the school fields teams in a variety of competitions including:

  • the Bill Turner Cup and Bill Turner trophy Under 15 Inter-School Soccer Competitions;
  • Cairns Futsal championships;
  • AFL boys and girls gala days; 
  • the Surf Life Saving Challenge;
  • the Cowboys Rugby League Schools Challenge;
  • Cairns District Schoolboys Rugby Union Competition;
  • Inter-School Hockey Competition;
  • The Vicki Wilson Inter-School Netball Competition;
  • The Cairns Basketball Junior Competition;
  • The Champion Basketball School of Queensland Competition; and
  • National Basketball Schools Tournament.

School Tours

School trips are an important part of the school calendar, especially for Year 12 students and students involved in the Languages Other Than English (LOTE) program.  

  • 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.
  • Cairns High has a twin schools’ partnership with the Convitto Nazionale “Paolo Diacono” School in North East Italy. There is an organised school trip to the sister school for IB Italian students each year.
  • Additionally, students of Senior Japanese are offered an opportunity to win the Japan Travel scholarship, with the successful student traveling to Japan for a 4-6 week period over the summer vacation break.
  • Check all the information about our outbound study tours available to Cairns State High students.

Last reviewed 22 July 2019
Last updated 22 July 2019