Your frequently asked questions

We feature a small range of our most-commonly asked questions from those considering whether to join below.

We also have a comprehensive knowledge base which is continually updated and added to in order to answer your questions. Please search our knowledge base here.

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. 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. If requesting another link please put Missing Zoom link in the subject line

Unfortunately we do not have capacity to offer 1:1 briefings with individual schools and our information briefings are not recorded.

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.

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.

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 anywhere in the world.

 

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

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, Junior, SEND  school (15 or fewer pupils per year group) – £300*

1 form entry – £750

2 form entry – £995

3 form entry+ – £1,250

*Please email us if you are a small school as we will need to verify that you qualify for this rate and apply it once you have checked out.

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

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.

Please take a look at our short film which provides a full explanation of everything included in your annual membership.

 

You can find our address and other contact details here. Please get in touch if you have any further questions.

 

Your annual Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised membership gives you access to our complete systematic, synthetic phonics programme so that every child in your school can learn to read, and love it!

Membership resources include weekly content covering every lesson, a comprehensive range of guidance on all areas including assessment, Keep-up, engaging parents and application of phonics to reading using matched decodable books. We provide support to get started with our programme, plus ongoing support. Our whole school online CPD is available on-demand and our pupil assessment tracker allows you to track pupils’ progress over time and plan Keep-up. Watch the film on our home page for more details.

Reading and handwriting

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

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 ben 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.

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.

In a very small number of cases members have advised that they cannot see our CPD modules or the questions underneath them. Our videos are embedded from Vimeo and our questions are on an embedded Google Form.

If you are having trouble viewing these the most likely reasons are:

  • You are working on an older browser version which may need updating.
  • Your school’s IT department has an adblocker in place which is blocking all embeds (including our videos). If that is the case you should ask them to whitelist our website.

We are working on upgrades to how the CPD area of the website works. In the meantime please keep your own written note as you complete each Module and let your Reading Leader know when you have completed them all.