Ofsted 'deep dives': history

Find out how Ofsted inspectors do a history 'deep dive' and see what they might ask by downloading our list of questions based on previous inspections.

Last reviewed on 9 February 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 46101
  1. Will we get a 'deep dive' in history?
  2. How deep dives work
  3. Questions Ofsted might ask during history deep dives
  4. Differences between primary and secondary history deep dives
  5. How to prepare

Ofsted inspectors use subject 'deep dives' to inspect your curriculum. They use them to consider the 'intent, implementation and impact' of your curriculum as part of the 'quality of education' assessment.

See paragraphs 215 to 217 of the School Inspection Handbook for more detail.

Ofsted has emphasised that it does not make judgements on specific subjects, lessons or teachers. Its inspectors use deep dives to help them arrive at an overall 'quality of education' judgement.

Will we get a 'deep dive' in history?

Ofsted might do a history deep dive.

 In primary schools Ofsted will:

  • Always do a deep dive in:
    • Reading
    • 1 or more foundation subjects, which could include history
  • Often do a deep dive in maths

In secondary schools, Ofsted will usually focus on a sample of 4 to 6 subjects. History could be 1 of these subjects.

See paragraph 216 of the School Inspection Handbook for more details.

How deep dives work