The owner of a "good" Bushey school and nursery has praised the "longstanding, well-qualified and experienced staff" as its latest Ofsted report has been released.

Malcolm Livesey’s comments came after inspectors from the education watchdog judged Longwood Nursery had improved from the last inspection in 2013, where it was judged as "satisfactory".

Inspectors visited the nursery in Bushey Hall Drive over one day last month and its latest report was published last week.

Inspectors said the nursery is "good" because children are happy, supported and make good progress given their starting points as the quality of the teaching is good.

The report goes on to state that children are motivated to learn by staff, who provide "exciting play activities" indoors and outdoors.

Inspectors added: "The management and staff understand their roles and responsibilities to ensure that children are safeguarded and are very committed to continually developing the provision for the benefit of the children.

"Partnerships with parents are strong. As a result, children and their families are included in the nursery and their skills and achievements are recognised and valued.

"Children have good opportunity to learn on a larger more active scale with good access to the exciting and challenging outdoor areas."

Mr Livesey said: "Our reputation of having a truly family atmosphere has enabled us to thrive since 1989, when we opened as one of the first day nurseries in Hertfordshire.

"We wish to thank our Hertfordshire County Council Early Years Advisor for the ongoing support which enables us to continually improve and develop, enabling the children to flourish at Longwood. We have taken the necessary minor steps to ensure we now meet the outstanding grade. We also wish to thank the parents for their continued commitment and support.

"Longwood staff have helped pioneer recommendations for Ofsted to help them improve seemingly inconsistent inspections following our previous inspection - working with The London Early Years Foundation, the National Day Nurseries Association and Preschool Learning Alliance. Ofsted have taken on board some of these recommendations."

Longwood School and Nursery has been established since 1990.

The nursery operates from four rooms attached to the main school and shares use of the school hall and library. The nursery employs 57 members of staff and currently around 169 children attend for a variety of sessions.

Inspectors observed activities in the classrooms, the outside learning environment and talked with staff and children.

They noted that staff are good at promoting children’s language and communication skills.

The report said: "Staff speak clearly and use signs and gestures.

"Staff know that children learn best through play and first-hand experiences. They skilfully use resources to encourage children to be eager to participate and to be strongly motivated to learn."

The report explains that the nursery is not yet "outstanding" because: "There is scope to review the consistency of scrutinising and assessing children's progress in the older children's rooms to fully support the otherwise very good practice that is sustained throughout the nursery."

It was also noted that on occasions, staff do not always organise the mealtime routine "sufficiently well" to ensure children are actively involved in their learning rather than waiting with nothing to do.