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James Nash State High School is located in the Wide Bay Region and services the communities of Gympie, Cooloola, ​and Kilkivan. Set in bush surroundings on the northern outskirts of Gympie, James Nash High was founded in 1977 and has a growing enrolment which will stabilise at between 1050 - 1300 students in the second half of this decade.

There is a combination of town and country students coming from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and a diversity of life styles, including rural traditional, rural alternative, small acreage subsistence, urban conservative and urban disadvantaged.

School and classroom policies are designed to provide in the Junior school, an orderly and secure environment with the emphasis on traditional standards, values and firm discipline while caring for the welfare and protecting the rights of all students. The junior school curriculum embraces the concept of a general education through core and essential learning experiences organised in year level subject offerings.

In the senior school, policies aim at the development of a more autonomous self-disciplined student who must take more responsibility for their own actions and learning. The broad academic curriculum is structured through subject offerings to fulfil the needs of both tertiary-bound and vocationally orientated students. It is enriched by the many extra-curricular activities, which focus on the cultural and sporting life of the school together with the need to develop socially responsible citizens.

In their roles as directors of learning experiences, teachers are encouraged to use the most appropriate instructional tools and a range of teaching strategies to motivate all students to achieve success at their individual level. Teachers also provide care, support and guidance to those students who find adolescence a difficult phase.