Ofsted 'deep dives': modern foreign languages (MFL) in primary

Find out what evidence Ofsted inspectors look for in a modern foreign languages 'deep dive', and download our list of questions to help you prepare.

Last reviewed on 8 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 43311
  1. How deep dives work
  2. Impact of COVID-19 
  3. Questions Ofsted might ask during a MFL 'deep dive'
  4. Ofsted concerns about 'curriculum narrowing'

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

How deep dives work

Who's involved?

Your senior leadership team (SLT), curriculum leads, subject leads, teachers and pupils.

How will inspectors do this?

In primary schools, inspectors will usually look at between 3 and 5 subjects, depending on the size of your school and the inspection team. They'll gather evidence through:

  • Conversations (see the list of questions below)
  • Work scrutinies (reviewing at least 6 workbooks or pieces of work per lesson, observed from at least 2 year groups)
  • Lesson observations (typically 4 to 6 lessons)
  • Curriculum documentation

Ofsted has clarified that you don’t need to prepare special curriculum documentation to help inspectors carry out deep dives. They won’t expect to see curriculum planning