TWO nurseries have been rated outstanding by Ofsted and praised for their “inspirational leadership” and “high-quality teaching.”

Witham Nursery and Wickham Bishops Nursery were awarded the top rating by the schools inspector after visits last month.

They are both run by Belinda Wakelin, who also runs Hatfield Peverel Nursery, which was awarded top spot in March for its “outstanding” teaching.

The report for the Witham Nursery, in Maldon Road, Witham, said: “Staff use excellent questioning skills that make children think and respond.

“In addition, staff use signing, pictures and visual cue cards to further support and build on children's communication and language development.

“Staff offer the children a wealth of opportunities to investigate natural resources, develop their senses, use their imaginations and learn about the world around them.”

It added: “All children, including those receiving additional funding, make excellent developmental progress. Children are developing strong key skills in readiness for school. Any gaps in learning are closing swiftly.”

Inspectors who visited the Wickham Bishops Nursery in The Annexe at Wickham Bishops Village Hall in Church Road, said children left “extremely well prepared” for the next stage in their education.

Mrs Wakelin said: “Hatfield Peverel, Wickham Bishops and Witham Nurseries are delighted to have received the highest judgement from Ofsted.

“This acknowledges the skill and dedication of practitioners, the achievements of children and our close working in partnership with parents. Outstanding in all of our nurseries is a fantastic achievement.

“Wickham Bishops Nursery was already judged to be outstanding and has continued to strive for building on its high quality service.

“Hatfield Peverel and Witham Nurseries have received there first outstanding grading.

She added: “We believe that our outstanding success won’t mean we stay as we are, we have a passion to keep improving and ensure all our children continue to achieve their full potential.”