Here are our most commonly-asked questions about becoming a Little Wandle member school. If your question isn’t answered here please check out our comprehensive knowledge base.
Yes! As of 10th July 2021 Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a phonics programme validated by the Department for Education.
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.
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.
Yes it is!
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 in total to complete 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.
Reading Leader training is provided regularly throughout membership via live webinars, recordings and other coaching support. This training is open to all members of the leadership team who are working with the Reading Leader on programme implementation and development.
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. See what’s included in our Use in class resources for handwriting and all aspects of the phonics lessons.
Once your children have established letter formation please use your school handwriting policy/programme to teach handwriting.
We have integrated Phase 6 throughout much of the programme as children need to be able to read words in the past and progressive tenses and with the suffixes in Phase 6 so that they can read fully decodable books that have a normal syntax and are not constrained by a restriction on verb tenses. For this reason we have included many suffixes in Phase 6 in the programme so children have been taught to read the words before the meet them in the books.
As reading and spelling are reversible processes, and because we teach spelling alongside reading, children will learn to spell words with these suffixes too. However, we know that spelling is harder than reading and so we would expect schools to continue teaching spelling by applying the alphabetic code and rules about suffixes in Year 2 as detailed in the National Curriculum.
Yes it does!
Our Foundations section includes a complete offer for Nurseries, which includes guidance, training and resources for three areas: Foundations for Phonics, Foundations for Language and Foundations for a Love of Reading. These three parts of the programme work together to provide you with everything you need to prepare your children for phonics teaching in Reception. They include a huge range of short, fun activities supporting pupils’ language development, story reading, phonological awareness and oral blending. ‘How to’ videos, training and prompt cards help you ensure your team is confident delivering these activities.
In Reception, teachers can continue to use Foundations for Language and Foundations for a Love of Reading – but they should switch from Foundations for Phonics to our core programme to teach children Phase 2 sounds from the beginning of the year. The initial phonics lessons are lively, short lessons that will take 10 minutes. They will help children to 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.
Yes it does. Our Rapid Catch-up programme is for children in Year 2 and above who are not reading at the expected level for their age. It mirrors the main phonics programme but has been created to help children catch up quickly, so has a faster pace. By the end of the Rapid Catch-up programme, children should be reading with enough fluency and accuracy to access the curriculum in class, and to read with enjoyment and understanding.
See what’s included in our Rapid Catch-up programme.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is designed to teach children in Reception and Year 1. The programme covers GPCs and Words in Phases 2 to 5. The programme includes weekly lesson plans and planned assessment materials to help achieve a constant pace of learning and is designed for the teaching of all children in a mainstream setting.
Our Little Wandle SEND Programme has been developed to be used with the graduated approach to teach children to learn to read in small steps that provide the right amount of challenge. We anticipate that most children and young people who follow it will be in specialist provision of some kind. The SEND Programme isn’t additional practice for those children who are falling slightly behind their peers. It provides pathways for pupils who may need very specific adaptations to the teaching steps because they have complex needs, and has been developed with the advice from Special schools across the country.
See what’s included in our SEND Programme.
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 see gaps in learning and identify where to start teaching.
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.
Our Little Wandle SEND Programme – which is included within the general membership package – has been developed to be used with the graduated approach to teach children to learn to read in small steps that provide the right amount of challenge. We anticipate that most children and young people who follow it will be in specialist provision of some kind. The SEND Programme is not additional practice for those children who are falling slightly behind their peers. It provides pathways for pupils who may need very specific adaptations to the teaching steps because they have complex needs, and has been developed with the advice from Special schools across the country.
No. The matching resources available from HarperCollins 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.
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. We recommend that Headteachers and those responsible for leading phonics attend.
As well as a presentation of the key features of the programme we also allow plenty of time for questions during these hour-long sessions.
A Zoom link will be emailed to you on the day of the briefing, please check your Junk/Spam folder if you have not received it. Please email us if you still cannot find it, putting ‘Missing Zoom link’ in the subject line of your email.
Unfortunately we do not have capacity to offer 1:1 briefings with individual schools and our information briefings are not recorded.
Yes it is. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is available to purchase by schools anywhere in the world. We also offer membership to Initial Teacher Training providers.
Take a look at What’s included in an annual membership.
We recommend that international schools contact our membership team in the first instance to discuss your requirements.