STAFF at a nursery are celebrating after achieving their seventh consecutive outstanding Ofsted rating.

George Dent Nursery School, on Elms Road in Darlington, has been praised by inspectors for the "outstanding quality of education" it offers.

Ofsted also found attendance rates had "improved dramatically" and provision for two-year-old children is of "extremely high quality", whilst disadvantaged children are making even better progress than their peers.

The Northern Echo:

Helen Dummett, executive head teacher at George Dent, said: "Achieving our seventh consecutive outstanding really does mean the world to us, to our children and our families.

"I am incredibly fortunate to have such a talented team of professionals who believe in making every moment count.

"At George Dent the children are truly at the heart of everything we do. Staff value the children and their work and there's a focus upon children ‘gently’ learning to appreciate the ‘magic’ of the natural world around them."

The Ofsted report states: "During conversations, parents spoke of how each child is treated as an individual, and how friendly, honest and approachable all staff are.

"Parents feel confident that if there are any issues, staff will let them know. They also noted how much their children enjoy being at the nursery because the school provides such a rich and engaging environment for learning."

Ms Dummett added: "We feel very passionate about the quality of care and education that the children receive in our school and this was acknowledged by the inspector in his report.

"He makes reference to the provision for two-year-old children which is of extremely high quality, praises the recording of observations and teachers’ planning, noted that behaviour is outstanding and that children are never off task because they are absorbed in the learning opportunities created for them.

"Parents spoken to during the inspection said how well prepared children are for the next stage in their education and that their children are safe in our care.

"We cannot thank our parents enough for the wonderful support we receive from them however this achievement really belongs to our amazing children who continue to inspire and motivate us every day."