Ao Tawhiti's new $30 million school opens in central Christchurch

Ao Tawhiti’s brand new $30 million school has opened in Christchurch's CBD today.

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Ao Tawhiti School was forced out of the city after the earthquake. Source: 1 NEWS

For the last eight years they’ve been operating out of prefabs in Halswell and Ilam after it lost its Cashel Street site in the earthquakes.

More than 600 students and staff will work out of the state-of-the-art four storey "special character" school.

Ao Tawhiti uses a model where students direct their own learning and structure their own timetables.

Often that means offering subjects not commonly available in mainstream schools like philosophy, psychology, video game design and DJ’ing.

Currently 550 students are enrolled in years 1-13. It’s hoped the roll will climb back to pre-quake levels of around 670 by next year.