Stramash - learning in the outdoors

Stramash is a thriving social enterprise providing outdoor play and learning and care for nursery or primary school age children since 2012. 

The Scottish Government wants outdoor learning to become ‘a defining feature of childhood in Scotland’[1].  We have the skills, people and experience to bring this policy to life. Whether cliff or beach, field or woodland, our sites at Oban, Fort William and Elgin are stunning. We wish to accelerate Scotland’s outdoor nursery movement and are delighted we will be opening a fourth nursery at Tornagrain (Inverness) later this year.  

Our services for schools run mainly from Oban. Tailored programmes contribute towards meeting pupils’ Curriculum for Excellence and GIRFEC outcomes. Our work with children in receipt of Pupil Equity Funding promotes their wellbeing, resilience and social skills.  Our holiday programmes provide adventurous play for children aged 5-7.   

Outdoor learning  

Every day we see the benefits of outdoor learning and play come to life. Being in the outdoors improves children’s health and wellbeing as well as their physical and cognitive development. 

Stramash practitioners are child-led. Planning ‘in the moment’ provides a dynamic creative space for children to develop. Playing on the uneven surfaces of the natural landscape, or learning how to be safe when using tools or by open fires, helps our children manage risk and develops their sense of responsible stewardship of the land. 

We welcome the Care Inspectorate’s support of a holistic approach to the child in the early years, and we are delighted that our recent inspection reports illustrate how our nurseries are meeting the needs of the child. 

The Stramash team  

Our team come from diverse professional backgrounds. Of the 40+ people we directly employ, many have prior experience in areas other than early years.  Qualifications in environmental sciences, forest schools, and adventure activities are quite common, often to degree level. We find that this blend, when combined with SVQ qualifications in early years, strengthens our approach to meeting the child’s needs in the outdoors. This includes essentials like nappy-changing and toilet handling, food hygiene, first aid, bush craft, and ensuring our children are warm and dry.   

We are an SVQ-accredited trainer in outdoor learning.  More information on this can be found on our website.

It doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing’

Stramash parents sometimes choose to take a shared placement, splitting their statutory entitlement between us and an indoor nursery. We welcome this and seek to further develop Scotland’s outdoor nursery movement by experimenting with forms of ‘hybrid’ nursery care for more children. We look forward to working in partnership with local authorities and other schools and nurseries, to play our part in helping every child regularly access the outdoors.   

How to reach us

If you would like to know more, please do get in touch through our website -  - or contact our office at (tel: 01631 566 080) to join our mailing list. 


[1] Scot Gov news release of 22 Feb 2018 on Learning Outdoors