Ofsted 'deep dives': science

Find out how Ofsted inspectors do a science 'deep dive'. Download our list of questions they might ask you so you can feel confident talking about your subject with inspectors.

Last reviewed on 28 February 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 39112
  1. Will Ofsted do a science deep dive?
  2. How 'deep dives' work
  3. Questions Ofsted might ask during a science 'deep dive'
  4. How to prepare

Ofsted inspectors use subject 'deep dives' to inspect your curriculum

Inspectors will make a judgement on the intent, implementation and impact of your curriculum as part of the 'quality of education' judgement.

See paragraph 215 to 217 of the School Inspection Handbook for more details.

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 Ofsted do a science deep dive?

In primary schools Ofsted will: 

  • Always do a deep dive in:
    • Reading
    • 1 or more foundation subjects
  • Often do a deep dive in maths

Since Ofsted will typically look at 3 to 5 subjects in total, Ofsted may also do a deep dive in science. This will depend on the size of your school and the inspection team.

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