Our school


Kurrinyala pilan kutan.

Ngayu ngatje yingku pulmpa marpu Kimoy Waluparra Pamanda Yidinji pama


Welcome to Cairns State High School

Cairns State High School, established in 1917, is a school that values its long traditions yet also looks forward with energy to the future.

What sets Cairns State High apart from every other school is that we have used educational research to determine our focus for the future and kept it as simple as possible so we can achieve our objectives. It seems almost too obvious to declare ‘Teaching’ as the number one priority, yet focusing on our core business and working together to improve the quality of the classroom experience is so critical to us that we are doing just that.

Teachers are working in teams to develop a consistent, quality approach to instruction that also values their personal pedagogical gifts: that x-factor that teachers bring to the classroom. Cairns State High teachers are recruited because of their qualifications, diverse experience and enthusiasm for young people. Every one of us here in the school values being part of this school community and the development of strong professional teams where practice is shared, planning is done and feedback is sought and given, shows how committed our staff are to being ‘the best we can be’. We use a range of information (data) to evaluate student progress at every step of learning.

Our equally important yet innovative focus on ‘Wellbeing’ means that we are building the right opportunities for students to develop into full participants in our fast-paced world. The great classroom experience hand-in-hand with developing resilience is the only way forward in a modern educational setting and Cairns High is leading the way. We are spending time and resources on developing new ways to develop ‘the whole person’ and engaging with students along the way ensures that we listen to their views about what they need from their school.

guiding statement

The school is highly desired as a school of first choice in Cairns with high demand for the limited places for enrolment year after year.The history of Cairns is tied to the history of its first and oldest High School - and the future of our city will continue to be linked closely with the city.

That’s why our work is so important. Cairns State High School plays an active role in the community as part of Advance Cairns, representing on consultative groups and promoting student voice. Within the school, the learning and wellbeing programs  'future proof' our students with the skills, confidence and qualifications to flourish and be valued citizens of the world.

Our long term view is to create the best opportunities for our students internationally - after all, we are not only the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, we are also the Gateway to Asia and the world.

Chris Zilm signature
Christopher Zilm, Executive Principal
Curriculum Leadership | T 4050 3001 | E

Last reviewed 05 November 2020
Last updated 05 November 2020