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The school opened for business on 28 January 1964 with 211 children spread across grades 1 – 6. There were no enrolments for grade 7 on the first day.

Official opening day was conducted on 6 February 1965 by Hon. J.C.A. Pizzey, BA. Dip Ed., LLD., MLA the Minister for Education. The plaque commemorating the opening hangs on the wall at the top of the stairs in A block.

The original school blocks were A and B with a walkway between. A block housed the administration including the Principal’s office.

C block was built as the school grew in size. C block upstairs, housed the library at one end and a double teaching area at the other end. Administration was relocated from A block to below the library and included Principal and Deputy Principal offices, the staffroom and the sick room. The other end was open and this was used as an undercover eating and play area. This area is now enclosed and is the present site of the staffroom. D block and demountable buildings were added as the school continued to grow. Some of the demountable buildings have since been removed as they were no longer needed. The hall was added in early 1990’s.

In the early days of Cairns West State School, the uniform consisted of a brown and white check shirt for the girls with white fold-down socks and brown leather lace-up school shoes. Boys wore a grey button-through shirt and grey shorts with white socks and black leather lace-up school shoes.

Over the years, the uniform has changed a number of times. A green T-shirt, screen-printed with the school logo was worn by both boys and girls in the 1980’s. Boys wore brown shorts and the girls wore a brown netball skirt. Footwear was white socks with joggers.

The uniform shirt was changed in the 1990’s to a green T-shirt with a brown collar with a small school logo on the left side at the front. Girls were given the choice of wearing either a skirt or shorts in brown. The new century saw the brown collar replaced with a black one and the shorts also became black.

The school has seen many changes over the years. Numbers of students have fluctuated reaching a high in the 1980’s of approximately 800 students.​​​​​​​​