“Really useful for what a deep dive means and what to say to Ofsted”

Justin Jones, Head of English, KLB School

Preparing for a Literacy or Reading Deep Dive

The Ofsted framework (EIF) now includes a “deep dive” in reading, and this will form part of every inspection for infant and primary schools. It is important to convey your best practice in every area of inspection, from how you create an effective reading culture and ethos in your school to how you teach the strategies of reading.

What Is An Ofsted Deep Dive?

Ofsted deep dives are a key part of the Ofsted Inspection Framework’s curriculum focus. An Ofsted inspection of any school, primary or secondary includes ‘deep dives’ into particular subjects or areas (e.g. Literacy or EYFS) which Ofsted will choose and inform you of prior to the inspection in the 90 minute call with the lead inspector.

An Ofsted deep dive is an in-depth examination of a subject by inspectors. It is part of the inspectors requirement to monitor the 3 Is – Intent, Implementation and Impact – of the curriculum.

The School Inspection Handbook contains key expectations which inspectors will consider when making a judgement about the quality of reading provision within a school. Among these expectations are:

  • Reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer.
  • A rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. At all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils. Reading books connect closely to the phonics knowledge pupils are taught when they are learning to read.
  • The sharp focus on ensuring that younger children and those at the early stages of reading gain phonics knowledge and language comprehension necessary to read, and the skills to communicate, gives them the foundations for future learning.

Arrange for a Mock Deep Dive in Literacy

Contact our Inspection team to arrange a ‘Mentoring Dive’ to reassure your team & allay any fears 


 1 – To clarify the Ofsted expectations
2 – Give time to exploring the progress within Literacy and how this is monitored in school.
3 – To be prepared for a ‘deep dive’ line of enquiry in literacy
4 – Plan necessary actions that will enable you self-evaluate with accuracy and approach inspection with confidence

With a renewed focus on the quality of your school curriculum this one day course will look at how judgements will be informed through the evidence available in your school.
Guiding you through questions and lines of enquiry this workshop will help you feel prepared and ready to articulate your approach with clarity and confidence.

Are you deep-diving into Core & Foundation subjects? 

As a Literacy Coordinator do you know what the new Ofsted framework introduced in September 2019 means for you and your role. There is certainly more emphasis on the curriculum and each individual subject will be under scrutiny.

  • How can you make sure that you are ready?
  • How can you prepare your colleagues for inspection?
  • How can you and your team prepare for a deep dive into the curriculum? 

“Each deep dive will typically focus on a sample of four to six subjects, looking at a wide variety of pupils in different year groups across that sample.”

Ofsted 2019

The day will give you the time & direction to draw up a personalised plan.

You might also be interested in The Ofsted Ready Leadership Team

or The Ofsted Ready School 

INSET Outline

The Ofsted Inspection Framework

• Headline changes in the Ofsted framework
• Unpacking the ‘Quality of Education’ standards
• Intent, Implementation and Impact and Cultural Capital

Your Literacy Curriculum

  • Progression of knowledge and skills
  • Creating Reading Culture
  • Age and stage appropriate learning
  • School pedagogy
  • Sources of evidence

How judgements are made

  • What your Literacy Coordinator or Reading lead need to know
  • Lesson Visits and work scrutiny
  • Use of assessment
  • Improving Reading Outcomes

Planning for a Reading deep dive in your school

  • Sample questions for Literacy coordinators and the Reading lead
  • Sample questions for the pupils
  • Planning for accurate self-evaluation



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