Your frequently asked questions

General

Yes! As of 10th July 2021 Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a phonics programme validated by the Department for Education.

We run regular free briefings about Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and take care to run these at different times to ensure that as many schools as possible can attend. As well as a presentation of the key features of the programme we also allow plenty of time for questions during these sessions. We regularly update these FAQs to include issues that are raised.

Unfortunately we do not have capacity to offer 1:1 briefings with individual schools.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised has been developed by Little Sutton and Wandle English Hubs and taken forward by Little Sutton Primary School and Wandle Learning Trust in partnership with other phonics and early reading experts. Our schools have developed a highly effective Letters and Sounds approach over recent years, with Phonics Screening Check results consistently amongst the top five per cent in the country.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised has been built around the update (Department for Education – Letters and Sounds improving rates of progress 2021) that we were funded to produce by the Department for Education, as well as drawing on the latest research into how children learn best, how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.

Yes they are! Please hop to this link to book. We recommend that Headteachers attend these briefings along with your Reading Leader and other relevant members of staff.

For now we are running all our information briefings live to give everyone the opportunity to ask questions and get their answers in real time.

Although it is ideal to start our programme at the beginning of the academic year, you can start at any point.

Our training is available online and on-demand throughout the year and we run Welcome Zooms and Reading Leader training every week to get schools started. Our placement assessment resources support schools to identify gaps in learning and where to start teaching.

With only very minor exceptions, the phonics content of the original Letters and Sounds has been retained, particularly the progression, the important phases and the teaching sequence.

Phase 2 now includes all consonants and all the consonant digraphs: ff ll ss zz qu ch sh th ng nk.

Phase 3 includes ai ee igh oa oo oo ar or ur er ow oi ear air and double letters (‘ure’ has been omitted but the most common ‘ure’ words sure and pure are included as tricky words in Phase 3).

Phase 5 has been organised into a sequence.

Tricky words have been increased to include those in the National Curriculum and a few very common words originally listed in the Appendix of Letters and Sounds Next 200 common words in order of frequency.

Please see the programme progression overview for more information.

This really depends on the setting. For example, we have seen whole class teaching work well in schools with a high % of EAL children where word meaning is taught as blending and reading are taught. Using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised with SpLd children will be more about what exact conditions a school is working with. ASC children are very able to join the whole class teaching with the right adaptations in place – those would be part of your classroom practice. However, for some children it may be best for them to be part of the main lesson and then work with an adult.

Yes! Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is available to purchase by schools globally.

We have a free information briefing taking place on 2nd November. Tickets available at this link.

Firstly we hope that your child is enjoying learning to read with Little Wandle! Our website is designed to support teachers and schools to teach our programme. They are the classroom experts and all questions about day to day learning within your child’s school should be directed at those teachers.

We have prepared some resources to support you with reading with your child at home. If your school has not yet had time to share these with you, you can find them here.

No. The matching resources are a core component of a validated SSP and using them ensures fidelity to the programme and consistency in the teaching. Our words, mnemonics, displays and so on are all referenced in our planning. Ofsted have clearly stated that schools should not mix and match resources.

Membership and pricing

Our pricing is based on school size with the options of small school (15 pupils or fewer per year group), 1Form Entry, 2Form Entry and 3 Form Entry+.

Part of our onboarding process includes checking your school size to ensure that you have picked the most appropriate membership level for your school.

When you’re ready to join, please have a read of this important info before you complete the checkout form.

  1. The person named as Super Admin on your checkout form will be our main point of contact for all communications (other than those related to finance). In time your Super Admin will also have access to your school data related to your whole school CPD and your pupil assessments.  Once your membership has been made live (more on which below) your Super Admin will be able to issue emails from within their Super Admin account to invite colleagues to join the school team and access all membership content for themselves. Many schools choose to have their Reading Leader as their Super Admin.
  2. The password the Super Admin creates when they complete the checkout form only works in conjunction with the Super Admin email address. For this reason we recommend that the Super Admin completes the checkout form themselves.
  3. Once the checkout form has been submitted and the Super Admin logs in to our website they will see our painting panda which lets them know the account is on-hold while we complete a few checks. Membership content cannot be accessed while the account is on-hold.

What happens next?

  1. Our finance team will contact the finance person named on the checkout form to verify the details provided, including the PO number.
  2. The Super Admin will receive an orientation email from us including an invite to a Welcome Zoom. Ideally both your Reading Leader and Head should attend this. The Head and Reading Leader can book onto different sessions if they like.

When will our membership go live? 

  1. Once our finance team have verified your details and your Reading Leader (and Head if you wish) have attended a Welcome Zoom, your membership will go live. The Super Admin will receive an email from us when this happens. Your Super Admin should check their Spam folder in case our email has accidentally ended up there. Note – we will accept a PO as proof of payment, you do not need to have paid your invoice to have your membership set to live.
  2. Your Super Admin will know that your membership has been made live if they see a smiling green iguana when they log in with their Super Admin email and password!

How does the Super Admin add colleagues to the live membership team?

  1. Until your membership is live, your Super Admin cannot add colleagues to the team
  2. Once your membership is live your Super Admin will see the option to ‘Add members’ when they log in. They should follow the instructions there – putting in the email address of each colleague they wish to invite and pressing send to issue their invite.
  3. The number of colleagues the Super Admin can invite is linked to the size of your school 30 colleagues for 1 FE and small school, 60 for 2FE and 100 for 3FE+

How do colleagues accept the invite and join the team?

  1. The invites your Super Admin sends from within their Super Admin account will have the sender Letters and Sounds – colleagues should check their Spam folder if not received.
  2. Colleagues click on the link within the email invite to register their email and create their own individual password for our website.
  3. They should keep a note of this password, or save it in their computer as they will need it every time they log in with their email address.
  4. Colleagues will know they’re logged when they see the My Letters and Sounds heading in their navigation bar and the smiling iguana in their My Account area.

As a not for profit organisation, our focus is on making membership both affordable and great value for money. Annual membership rates based on school size are as follows.

Small school (15 or fewer pupils per year group) – £300*

1 form entry – £750

2 form entry – £995

3 form entry+ – £1,250

A discounted rate is available if your school has done our Letters and Sounds online training in or after 2020.

*Please note that the small school discount is our best possible priced membership which means the £200 discount cannot also be applied to a small school membership subscription.

 

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a not for profit complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme.

An annual membership gives your school access to:

  • Weekly content for every phonics lesson for Reception and Year 1, including the use of mnemonics and catchphrases to teach Phase 2 and 3 GPCs.
  • Video and written guidance on application of phonics to reading, spelling and writing, development of vocabulary and the encouragement of reading for pleasure.
  • Full Keep-up Reception and Year 1 teacher’s guides with one-to-one and group support plus video guidance to support children at risk of falling behind.
  • Assessment for learning in the classroom to ensure 100 per cent participation, inclusion and support for the lowest 20 per cent. Formal daily timetabled Keep-up for children in the lowest 20 per cent to ensure they reach age-related expectations.
  • Support for parents to encourage their child’s reading at home, including pronunciation videos and other aspects of phonics.
  • How to videos modelling every aspect of teaching phonics, reading and Keep-up.
  • Materials for assessment every six weeks, including next steps for teaching, identification of children who need Keep-up, an online tracker for you to record and analyse data (available from Autumn 2021) and support to match children’s secure phonic knowledge to the appropriate decodable reading books.
  • On-demand, high quality whole school online training.

Firstly thank you for your membership! Your Super User will have received a Next steps email from us containing important things you need to do before your membership will be marked as active. Super Users should check Junk folders for this Next steps email in case it’s hopped in there by accident.

  1. Click on the link in the Next steps email to book your Welcome Zoom – this should be attended by your Super User (who in most cases will be your Reading Leader) and preferably your Headteacher also
  2. If you did not include a PO number on your order form our finance team will also need to get in touch with your named finance contact to get this in place.

With the above two steps sorted, your membership will be made live and you can start enjoying your Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised content!

Resources

Update on availability of resources – Tuesday 19th October 2021

Collins will be out of stock of most of the Big Cat Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised readers, and the set of 120 books until October 25th when they will receive a large delivery of all the books and the set. Orders placed already will start to be delivered into schools from 1st November.

The classroom resources are back in stock now except Word Cards and Tricky Word Cards: Year 1 Phase 5 which will be available again from Friday 22nd October.
Lesson Prompt Cards for Reception 
and Lesson Prompt Cards for Year 1 have been delivered but there is a delay of several days in the stock becoming available for dispatch, we will update once that is resolved.

Please be aware that due to the high level of orders for Little Wandle readers and resources, it will take 5-7 working days from when the order is placed for orders to arrive. For the items listed above, it will be 5-7 working days from when the stock is delivered to Collins.

We provide regular general updates on delivery times in this FAQs section.

If you have any questions about your school’s order in particular  please contact Collins Primary directly.

Yes. Through our partnership with HarperCollins we’re delighted to be offering 120 full decodable books matched exactly to our progression. The readers feature an exciting mix of stories and non-fiction to foster a love of reading in all children. A set is available which includes one copy of each of the 120 readers with a built-in discount of 20%. You can browse books and look inside at this link.

Once you have purchased books you can download the word lists for each book at this link. Print them off, cut them up and use them during your pre-read to help children gain fluency and confidence. 

All your daily teaching materials are available to download as part of your membership. In addition we have grapheme, prompt and tricky word cards, wall friezes, grapheme mats and teacher guides available to purchase, through our partnership with HarperCollins.

An easy-buy pack of resources is available with 30% discount. Please see the HarperCollins website at this link for more information and to purchase your resources.

Your Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised membership includes downloadable weekly content for every phonics lesson for Reception and Year 1. Take a look at examples of Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 5 weekly content plans.

The card length is dictated by the size of the word. Some letters take up more space than others so the number of letters on a short card can differ.

We would suggest you do two piles for shuffle time. Shuffle the short cards and read those and then shuffle the long cards and do those. It’s a good way of focusing on the chunking method with longer words anyway. If you only have one longer card, keep that to the side/on your lap,  and pop it in the pack at random after you have shuffled.

No we won’t be creating PowerPoints as they are not part of our pedagogy. Our programme uses direct instruction and assessment for learning to ensure that children are being taught what they need to be taught in the moment. We want to empower teachers to teach and our physical resources do that.

We have created guidance and a look-up tool to support organisation of Review word cards (which are needed across various teaching weeks). Members can find these resources in the Weekly content section of the website.

We have also created a quick film to support members to organise their word cards for the week. We are continually looking for ways to support members to use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as effectively as possible and will create more resources as appropriate.

You can find members’ own organisation ideas on our Twitter and Instagram channels @LettersSounds.

Teaching and organisation

The reason that there are no actions to teach the sounds is that we want the children to think about the sounds and blending them together. When movements are introduced these become the thing that children are thinking about rather than the sounds and blending.

We have guidance and an interactive look-up in the Weekly content section of the website to support members to find and organise the Review words cards. The same Review word cards are needed at various points throughout the year and these resources help members to easily see the first time each word is used, and then each week it is needed subsequently.

We share our own and member photos of organisation ideas on our social media channels – find us on Twitter and Instagram @LettersSounds

Reading and handwriting

Yes, we have resources outside the paywall on how to select decodable books and matching existing Collins Primary Letters and Sounds decodable readers to our progression as far as possible. You can find those resources here.

Once you are in membership we provide more detailed, ongoing guidance as part of your Getting started and Reading Leader support.

Reading practice sessions are in groups of ideally six children but could run to 10 children if they are all at the same level. These sessions are timetabled three times a week and taught by a trained adult.

Children practise reading in books matched to their secure phonic knowledge when reading words. In most cases this means you will have several groups of children in your class on different books. A set of six books should be adequate for a one-form entry school. Larger schools will need more books.

Initially the GPCs in the Phase 2 books are cumulative and the children should be given them in order. Children should start reading practice sessions once they are able to blend. As this happens at different times for children, some children will begin reading practice sessions sooner than others. Any child who cannot blend needs additional blending practice every day until they can blend and can begin reading practice sessions.

From Phase 3, the books contain all the GPCs taught at that phase and so any book in that set can be used. This means you can run several groups at the same reading level as there are plenty of books at every level and they can be used in any order. Members can find some ideas for reading practice timetables in the Reading Leader webinar 1 section of the website.

Ofsted has been trained to understand what matching decodable books to children’s secure phonics knowledge at reading words looks like. They know that it looks like children reading books with GPCs that they have secured in word reading e.g. that they were taught and can read fluently. It does not look like children reading books with GPCs that they have learnt that day or that week. That knowledge is not secure. The correct level for instructional teaching is 90% fluency. This is decoding one word in ten; the rest should be fluent.

Children gain fluency in reading these GPCs in words through practice in the Revisit and review part of the lesson which moves the children’s knowledge of the GPCs and application in words into their orthographic store. They also practise the GPCs in words in short sentences that they read every day in the Practise and apply part of the lesson. This repeated practice and retrieval helps children get to the point of being able to read the appropriate books with fluency so they are reading at a level of success and not frustration.

The books children practise with are matched so that they get lots of successful practice and become fluent in reading them. The cognitive load of sentence reading is far higher than word reading. Our progression and books go far beyond just teaching the GPCs, we ensure children can read multi-syllabic words, compound words and words with suffixes, the books match this too.

You should check that your children are fully fluent before you stop using the Big Cat for Little Wandle decodable books.

Our final assessment checks children’s progress and also matches them to the final set of our Phase 5 books (set 5). Make sure your children can read these books fluently and with understanding before you move off the programme.

Group practise sessions can begin in Reception as soon as children are able to blend. These sessions should be short and sweet, 10 minutes maximum, to start with and build up in length as the books become longer and more complex.

Children who are not blending yet should have daily additional blending practise with a trained adult. This should take 10 minutes too. Schools will organise these sessions in a variety of ways according to their staffing levels. Our Reading Leader webinars and Welcome Zoom will equip you to make these choices.

We teach letter formation using our formation phrases, which make a link between the mnemonic and the letter. As per the Department for Education guidance we do not teach cursive.

We encourage schools to also make time to teach handwriting outside the phonics lesson. Use our Phase 2 grapheme information sheets to remind you of the letter formation phrase and pronunciation phrase for each grapheme. Autumn 1 sounds, Autumn 2 sounds, Spring 1 sounds, How to write capital letters.

Once your children have established letter formation please use your school handwriting policy/programme to teach handwriting.

 

EYFS and Year 2

Phase 6 is not supported by the programme. Schools should be following the spelling curriculum as set out in the National Curriculum in Year 2. Our teaching order finishes in Year 1 once the children have mastered all the Phase 5 GPCs.

Any child in Year 2, who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, or is not fully fluent in reading words with the Phase 5 GPCs should continue to be taught phonics daily.

Our Foundations for phonics section includes a guidance document and video that explore how to support language development, story reading, phonological awareness and oral blending in Nursery. We also include Prompt cards that explain how to play the oral blending games and we will be growing a bank of videos to support those games.

We make a strong start teaching phonics in Reception so all children get to learn to read quickly. This is recommended by Ofsted and the Department for Education.

More importantly, we want children to learn to read as a priority. Phase 1 is not a prerequisite for children progressing to Phase 2 where they begin to learn the sounds that letters make.

We teach oral blending in every lesson in every phase as we know it remains an important part of blending words to read. The initial phonics lessons are lively short lessons that will take 10 minutes. They will help your children learn the routines and are full of fun. We play an oral blending game every day to start with. Schools across the country start teaching phonics in this way every year and find it really helps children settle in.

CPD

If your school has already done the DfE accredited training your staff only need to do the following Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised training. All CPD is available in the membership area of the website as on-demand video for maximum convenience.

Module 1 – staff need only complete Your details part 2 so that we have information about the role and year group for each person to include within your training report (Your details part 1 is pre-populated and should not be edited). Please note that Once staff reach page 3 of Module 1 they can skip to the end and press submit. They do not need to complete any of the assessment questions and this will not affect their results.

Module 4 – complete in full.

Module 6 – complete in full.

 

 

Your school membership package for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised includes comprehensive on-demand online training consisting of six modules and access to a whole school training report. The six modules take around five hours to complete in total and can be done a module at a time if required.

Membership also includes ongoing CPD supported by a practice map which identifies exactly what your teachers need to practise to improve the teaching of phonics and reading.

There will be no immediate changes to the current DfE Letters and Sounds online training programme delivered by the validated Letters and Sounds English Hubs. The training is based on the Key features of effective phonics practice which are the foundations of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. You can continue to book this training.

If your school has taken part in the training in or since Summer term 2020 and you wish to make Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised your validated programme, you will be entitled to £200 off your first year’s membership. The CPD element of the package includes two additional modules of training, which you will need to do in order to teach our new programme.