Faculty Overview

The Foundation Faculty at Tarleton Academy consists of the following Curriculum Areas:


  • Geography
  • History
  • Religious Studies

Modern Foreign Languages

  • Spanish
  • French

Foundation Staff

Mrs Bergon Head of Faculty and Teacher of MFL
Mr Henderson Head of Geography
Mrs Staniforth Teacher of Geography
Mrs Lyall Head of History
Mrs Ashton Teacher of History
Ms Garrett Teacher of History and Wiggins House Progress Leader
Mr Hartley Head of Religious Studies
Ms Tattersall Teacher of Religious Studies
Mrs Lythgoe Teacher of MFL
Miss Duffy Teacher of Spanish
Miss Morris Teacher of MFL


"The calling of the humanities is to make us truly human in the best sense of the word"

J. Irwin Miller

The Humanities curriculum focuses on teaching lessons which are creative and innovative that challenge students thinking and understanding of the world we live in. There are five dedicated classrooms situated in the Lune Building.


In Geography at key stage 3 we concentrate on developing key geographical skills and understanding. We do this by focusing on a wide variety of geographical topics including; map skills, global ecosystems, natural hazards, development, and globalisation. These topics allow our pupils to gain a good understanding of our ever changing world.


The History department looks to provide a broad and balanced scheme that teaches historical skills through the study of British and world history at key stage 3. We look at key themes in Britain like the development of Monarchy and Democracy from the arrival of William the Conqueror and the Normans in 1066 through to women earning the vote in 1918, as well as the lives of ordinary people and the events that affected them, from Medieval peasants to 19th Century factory workers. We also study key aspects of world history including the slave trade, the world wars, the Holocaust and the events of the later 20th Century that shaped the world we live in.

Religious Studies

At Key Stage 3, all students follow the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus which is topic based study linked to the six major world religions Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism.

Humanities Curriculum

All students at Key Stage Three study History, Geography and Religious Education as discrete subjects.

At Key Stage 4, all students are encouraged to study at least one Humanities subject and it is not unusual for students to study two or more of History, Geography and Religious Studies at GCSE.

‘Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future’

Michael Palin

In Geography at Key Stage Four students will follow the new AQA Specification which is split into 3 papers.

Paper one is called ‘Living with the physical environment’. This unit is concerned with the dynamic nature of physical processes and systems, and human interaction with them in a variety of places and at a range of scales. 

Paper two is called ‘Challenges in the human environment’. This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally. They are studied in a variety of places and at a range of scales and must include places in various stages of development, such as higher income countries (HICs), lower income countries (LICs) and newly emerging economies (NEEs). 

Paper three is called ‘Geographical applications’. The Geographical applications unit is designed to be synoptic in that students will be required to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from the full course of study. It is an opportunity for students to show their breadth of understanding and an evaluative appreciation of the interrelationships between different aspects of geographical study. This unit includes the opportunity for fieldwork and the students will complete an exam based on skills developed through fieldwork.

The weighting for the final grade is:

  • Living in the physical environment- 35%
  • Living in the human environment -35%
  • Geographical applications- 30%

“Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”.

George Santayana

In History at Key Stage Four we follow the Edexcel GCSE History course which covers the units of Medicine in Britain c.1250-present which includes a detailed study of the British Sector of the Western Front, 1914-18; Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588; and Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939; The American West 1835-1895. There are three exam papers and there is no coursework or controlled assessment in History.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.

Mahatma Ghandi

In Religious Studies at Key Stage Four we follow the WJEC syllabus for Religious Studies specification B in Year 11 and EDUQAS in Year 10. This subject consists of examinations only and there is no coursework in this subject.

Students in Year 7 receive 4 lessons a fortnight in History and Geography and 3 lessons a fortnight in RE

Students in Year 8 receive 4 lessons a fortnight in History and Geography and 3 lessons a fortnight in RE

Students in Year 9 receive 4 lessons a fortnight in History and Geography and 3 lessons a fortnight in RE

Students in Year 10 receive 6 lessons a fortnight

Students in Year 11 receive 6 lessons a fortnight



“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart”

Nelson Mandela

Our Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum will inspire young people to become global citizens with inspirational teaching at its core. We aim to broaden young people’s vision of the world, develop their cultural awareness and foster a lifelong love of language.

MFL is situated in the Mersey Building and we are very fortunate that we have a whole floor designated solely to MFL. There are four good-sized classrooms, each with a digital interactive projector.

In both Key Stages, we focus on the four key skill areas in MFL: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. We use a variety of techniques and strategies in our lessons, from interactive role plays to games and songs.  We are also fortunate to be able to book out an ICT suite to consolidate and stretch learning. The use of Chromebooks in the classroom also enhances the learning experience of our Key Stage 3 students. Each student is encouraged to reach and even exceed their targets, by providing them with the necessary tools to become more independent learners.

Students are given the opportunity to try out their language skills in real situations, as they are offered the opportunity to take part in educational visits to Spain or France. Such visits bring to life their language skills and allow them to use the language in real life contexts, as well as allowing students to gain a deeper cultural awareness and understanding of the country visited.

MFL Curriculum

At both Key Stages Three and Four, classes are taught in mixed ability groups.

Year 7 study Spanish and have six one-hour lessons a fortnight, these students will continue to study Spanish up to the end of Year 9 with the option of choosing French as a second language. Year 8 continue to study Spanish with six lessons per fortnight. Year 9 study Spanish with four lessons per fortnight and can opt to study French as a second language. At the end of Year 9, students can opt to continue to study languages at GCSE and the continuation of languages in Key Stage Four is promoted.  Able linguists are encouraged to opt for more than one language. In Key Stage Four, students have six hours of their chosen language per fortnight.

At Key Stage Three we teach three modules per year that each incorporate a range of the four skills in MFL (listening, speaking, reading and writing) with a cultural end of year project. We regularly track progress through a variety of assessment activities. By doing this, we are able to identify areas in which students are strong as well as areas in which students might need to develop. 

At Key Stage Four we follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabi. Students consolidate and enhance their knowledge of fundamental grammar points and structures, as well as covering topics from the GCSE specification.  

The GCSE is a linear examination and all four skills are examined separately. The examinations take place at the end of Year 11 with equal weighting.
Listening – 25% 
Reading  – 25% 
Speaking – 25% 
Writing – 25%