Reporoa School pupils and teachers have been hard at work sprouting environmental ideas in the hope of winning a $10,000 Treemendous School Makeover.

It is one of nine schools announced as finalists in the stage one judging round as part of Treemendous School Makeovers for 2017 - a joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson.

Principal Richelle McDonald said staff and students were thrilled with the news.

"It's really exciting. We took a look at last year's application and did some sprucing so we could resubmit it."

Reporoa School's idea is to turn an empty paddock into an outdoor native classroom where students can plant native bush and have a natural, innovative area to learn in.

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Ms McDonald said the next step for Reporoa School was "tease out" its initial idea and go to the community for more input.

Treemendous judge, Ruud "The Bugman" Kleinpaste said the school makeovers were essential for helping young people become nature-literate again and also helped remind people of the important role ecosystems and biodiversity play in the world.

"Treemendous outdoor classrooms are the perfect way to re-connect our kids - and their teachers - with the natural world at a time when we are overloaded with digital technology."

The finalists are in the process of developing landscaping plans for their stage two submissions, which will be judged to select the winning entries. Four out of the nine schools will be chosen to each receive a $10,000 makeover that will take place next year and the remaining finalists will be awarded $500.

The four winning schools will be announced in November.

The other eight finalists are Alexandra Primary School (Otago), Crofton Downs Primary School (Wellington), Gordonton School (Waikato), Houghton Valley School (Wellington), Leithfield Primary School (Canterbury), Mahora School (Hastings), Nelson Central School (Nelson), and Roscommon School (Auckland).