The deal is sealed - Ngamatapouri School's acting principal Heather Dallas will be taking the reigns permanently starting in term two.

Ms Dallas joined the school at the start of term one and immediately set about implementing her vision for the nine-pupil school.

"We've become a member of New Zealand Enviroschools and it has become a part of our culture - we're using it as a base to delve into a rich and varied curriculum," she said.

"That's our goal now that we don't have such a strong focus on the national standards, we want to make sure that their learning is a bit more holistic."


In term two, the school was looking at working with the Taranaki Regional Council to get students involved in monitoring the water quality in the Waitotara River.

Students will have many units to complete with a local focus, including looking at the processes and production involved in making honey.

"A lot of the local families, their jobs and livelihoods depend on the environment," Ms Dallas said.

"Through beekeeping and through the farming that they do - becoming aware of the environment is very important for our students here."

Ms Dallas was born in Whanganui and when she began at Ngamatapouri School it was her first time back in the region for 33 years.

During eight of those years, Ms Dallas lived in Brunei, Borneo, where she was a teacher and also an education manager.

"I've had a lovely term and am really looking forward to being here on a permanent basis," she said.

"This was a lovely opportunity to get back to rural life, being with a very supportive community and a small group of learners who are a lovely bunch of kids."