Your frequently asked questions

FAQs

Please take a look at our FAQs below, which we hope answer your question. Click on the question to show the answer. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact us.

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

1. At the same time as checking out you are creating your customer account. Two emails will go to the Super Admin named on your form. The first thanking you for your order, the second thanking you for setting up an account. These emails are generated from the website itself, sender ‘Letters and Sounds’ (check Junk if not received). At this stage your account is ‘Pending’ and if you log in using the Super Admin email address and the password your Super Admin created at checkout you will see our painting panda letting you know your account is pending.

2. Within a day of your order, your Super Admin will receive an email containing important information, including an invite to book a Welcome Zoom, sender Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (we use Hubspot to send these emails, again please check Junk if you can’t see this email). Attending a Welcome Zoom is a vital part of our programme and an essential requirement before we will activate your membership (in addition to the points we outline in step 4 below).

3. A separate email will go from our finance team to the finance officer named on your order (please allow a few days for this as we need to check PO numbers and other details).

4. Once you have attended a Welcome Zoom, have a PO number in place and order details confirmed by our finance team we’ll mark your membership as ‘live’! Your Super Admin will receive an email from the website confirming this.

5. With your membership live your Super Admin can log into their account (now they will see a smiling iguana) to access all membership content and invite other staff members to your team to do likewise! The number of log-ins your Super Admin will be able to set up is linked to your school size (up to 25 for 1 form entry, up to 50 for 2 form entry and up to 80 for 3 form entry+)

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.

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.

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.

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. All schools applying for membership on or before Monday 26th July will also receive a 10% Early Bird discount off the first year’s membership.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes. 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.

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.