Our new SSP

If you have a question about Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised please see our FAQs below. We will be adding to these regularly, as we develop the programme and get closer to launch. If your question is not covered here, please contact us.

Why is it called Little Wandle?

Our name recognises the fact that our complete SSP has been developed by Little Sutton and Wandle English Hubs, working with other phonics experts. The first stage of this work, in the form of the progression (Letters and Sounds improving rates of progress 2021), was commissioned by the Department for Education. Subsequently Wandle Learning Trust and Little Sutton Primary School took up the mantle and finished the complete SSP that we are about to launch.

Will there be decodable books?

The inclusion of fully decodable reading books is central to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP programme. We have formed a partnership with Harper Collins to provide 120 fully decodable books matched to the new programme. More details about these books, which will be available for the new academic year, to follow shortly.

In addition, we will provide support for schools to audit their existing book stock and match these where possible to our progression.  

How has Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised been created?

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. We have developed our own very effective Letters and Sounds approach over recent years, with Phonics Screening Check results consistently amongst the top 5 per cent in the country.

We have now developed a full revision of the programme, based on our excellent practice and work as English Hubs with schools across the country. This revision has been built around the update (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.

What will the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised membership package consist of?

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

  • 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 guide with one to one and group support with 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 schools to record and analyse data and support to match children’s secure phonic knowledge to the  appropriate decodable reading books 

  • High quality whole school online training 

If my school is using Letters and Sounds now, do I have to take out a subscription to Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised?

There is no statutory requirement to switch to our Revised programme, or to use a validated phonics programme at all. However, the Department for Education has made clear that from July 2021 the 2007 Letters and Sounds will no longer be validated. This means that from July 2021 - as with all other non-validated programmes - schools using the 2007 Letters and Sounds will not be eligible for phonics development funding or support through the English Hubs.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised offers schools the opportunity to continue with a non-commercial phonics programme, which we are confident will be validated. 

What happens if my school buys a membership package and then you don’t get validated?

The Department for Education is starting its new validation round on 1st June for all new and existing SSPs. This means that all programmes, whether currently validated or not, need to apply for validation. We are confident that our complete programme fully meets all of DfE’s latest validation criteria. 

How much will a membership package for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised cost?

As a not for profit organisation our focus is on making membership affordable and great value for money. Annual membership rates will be £750 for 1FE, £995 for 2FE, £1,250 for 3FE+. Discounted rates will be available for any schools who have done the Letters and Sounds online training in or after Summer term 2020.

What else can schools purchase to support Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised?

Our Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised shop will sell all our teaching resources: grapheme cards, wall friezes and grapheme charts, grapheme mats, word cards, prompt cards and tricky word cards 

Additional face-to-face training and support days will be available to purchase 

120 decodable books will be available through our partnership with Harper Collins 

Is the Letters and Sounds training I’ve recently done still relevant?

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 a discounted membership package. 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.

What training will be available to support Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised?

Your school membership package for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised will include comprehensive on-demand online training consisting of six modules and access to a whole school training report. Membership will also include ongoing CPD supported by a practice map which identifies exactly what your teachers need to practice to improve the teaching of phonics and reading.

Have there been any changes to the phases, order of GPCs and tricky words?

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: 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.

All of this information will be clearly laid out in the programme progression overview which will be on the homepage of our new Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised website.

Are there any plans for Phase 6?

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete programme for teaching to the end of Phase 5. Resources and guidance for Phase 6 will be developed and added to the programme in 2022.