Deep diving into the Curriculum

One of the phrases that seem to have recently appeared in schools and colleges is the term ‘Deep Dive’ This phrase seems to have become a key focus within the revised 2019 Education Inspection Framework (EIF) with the introduction of a ‘quality of education’ judgement that combined aspects of the previous key judgements of ‘teaching, learning and assessment’ and ‘outcomes’ The judgments intention is to provide a more holistic view of standards, particularly focusing on the quality of the curriculum. 

A Deep Dive involves the gathering and analysing of the intent, implementation, and impact of the curriculum by looking at a sample of curriculum subjects or topics. 

This information gathering is carried out collaboratively with leaders, teachers, and pupils to judge the quality of education.

A Deep Dive includes:

  • Evaluating the leadership of the whole curriculum, by focusing on a  subject or area, to show their understanding of its implementation and impact  
  • Evaluating the leadership of a subject by reviewing’ long- and medium-term thinking and planning, including the rationale behind content and sequencing  
  • Visiting a selection of lessons linked to a subject  
  • Work scrutiny of books within a subject 
  • Discussion with teachers about the subject planning 
  • Discussions with a group of pupils 

All the elements of the deep dive are cross-referenced to assist in making a Quality of Education judgment. 

We’re working with many contributors and stakeholders to find the perfect blend of capturing all this valuable evidence using the intuitive interface of iP to manage the process.


How does iP support Deep Dive and Reporting?

iP supports deep dive and reporting in a variety of different ways at a range of levels.  As previously mentioned this involves gathering evidence on the curriculum intent, implementation, and impact over a sample of subjects, topics, or aspects. So we will focus on reporting across data and across staff members.  

The deep dive is not carried out on a particular staff member but a subject area. Therefore a new ‘staff member’ related to a curriculum area is created to set up a Work Area for that department.  For example, for English, the new staff member would be called ‘English Department’.

The purpose is to gain an overview of the performance of a subject area, rather than the individual.  The functionality of the system is used in the same way as per an individual staff member’s Performance Management/Appraisal, but the information is added to dive into the department.

This will enable all data to be gathered together in one place and the Work Area can be contributed to by many staff by setting up collaborators.  The line manager will be set as the Department Head.  Only certain functions are required so certain areas of the Work Area may not be required, e.g. objectives and standards.

If you’d like to hear more about how iP is helping to develop the ‘Deep Dive’ process why not contact a member of our team on +44 (0) 333 0433 450 or email


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