Children are particularly susceptible to air pollution and schools are examples of urban microenvironments that can account for a large portion of children's exposure to airborne particles. Thus this paper aimed to determine the sources of primary airborne particles that children are exposed to at school by analyzing selected organic molecular markers at 11 urban schools in Brisbane, Australia. Positive matrix factorization analysis identified four sources at the schools: vehicle emissions, biomass burning, meat cooking and plant wax emissions accounting for 45%, 29%, 16% and 7%, of the organic carbon respectively. Biomass burning peaked in winter due to prescribed burning of bushland around Brisbane. Overall, the results indicated that both local (traffic) and regional (biomass burning) sources of primary organic aerosols influence the levels of ambient particles that children are exposed at the schools. These results have implications for potential control strategies for mitigating exposure at schools.