Welcome to St Nicholas CE (VA) Primary School and welcome to Squirrel Class. Please use this page to find information about what your child will be learning each term along with some supportive resources. You will also find information, Home Learning and updates on what we have been doing in class on the Squirrel Class Page in the Children section.
Year 1 - Recommended Texts
Below are some recommended picture books for Year 1, which offer deeper exploration of emotions and wonder. The themes of the stories generally follow everyday situations of life (although clearly not all of them!).
In addition, most of these books lend themselves to setting up a variety of play situations – using toys, costumes and puppets. Children should be involved in careful reading of the books, paying close attention to the detail and entering imagined worlds to experience the stories deeply – then talking it all through with you.
Peace at Last
Jill Murphy (Macmillan)
Ask the children: What is peace? Make a list of peaceful times (I am peaceful when…). You might need to explain ‘snore’ before reading the book! Ask: Why can Mr Bear not sleep? Make a list of all the noises he can hear. Turn this into a list poem and add other ideas. For example: At night, I hear the cats fighting outside. I can hear the buses driving by. I hear the kitchen tap dripping.
Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?
Martin Waddell (Walker Books)
Follow both bears and talk about what they feel or are thinking. Ask: Is Little Bear really trying to go to sleep? How does Big Bear comfort Little Bear? Re-read this book many times, as it is about comfort and feeling safe.
Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins)
Look at the cover. Ask: What might happen? Who is creating mischief? What really happened in Max’s room that night? Create a ‘Wild Things’ dance – ‘be still’ and then ‘let the wild rumpus begin’. Make masks for the dance and music to accompany the movement. Create large monster paintings.
Ask: What are the monsters and why does Max send them to bed? What do you think his parents are like?
The Elephant and the Bad Baby
Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs (Puffin)
This wonderful cumulative tale has been around for almost 50 years. Enjoy the story with everyone joining in. Ask: Is the baby really a ‘bad’ baby? Draw long maps so that the children can see the story pattern. Act the story out. Retell the tale, visiting different places (perhaps local to you) and with different characters. Ask: What other book has a similar ending where they all go home for tea? (Mr Gumpy).
John Burningham (Bloomsbury)
Of course, start with a discussion about babies – and bring in an avocado for tasting (marvel at the huge seed and plant it). Enjoy the ridiculous humour (the Popeye theme) and talk about being strong and weak. Ask: What do you think the baby will do next? Watch the bullies get their come-uppance! Create new stories based on the same idea featuring babies that will only eat one food and gain a superpower, such as a ‘Banana Baby’ that can fly!
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith Kerr (HarperCollins)
Role-play the scene where Daddy returns and they tell him the story of what happened when the tiger came to tea. Ask: What can you spot in the scene in which the family is walking to the café? (A cat appears that looks like the tiger.) Apparently, the tiger never came again – but retell the story of when a different animal came to tea! Create a collage of an enormous tiger.
Lost and Found
Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)
Tell the children some things about penguins… and about a ‘lost and found office’. Then, read and enjoy this strange tale. Ask: What interests you in the tale? Why does the penguin follow the boy? Role play the scene in which they go to the office. Ask: What is ‘disappointment’? Tell stories to the penguin – make a boat in the class and provide a cuddly penguin to tell stories to and ‘talk about wonderful things’. Ask: Why is the penguin sad when they reach the South Pole? What was the ‘big mistake’?
Mo Willems (Hyperion Books)
Yet another story about loss, but this time it is the loss of a cuddly bunny and not a mother (Dogger has a similar plot). The key to the story involves knowing what an ‘errand’ and a ‘Laundromat’ might be! The inside title page provides some interesting background detail worth discussing. Discuss the moment of realisation. Ask: Why doesn’t Dad understand and what advice would you give him? Why is it that Mum understands immediately?
Practise going ‘boneless’ and showing Trixie’s emotions with just your faces! Collect baby, family or made-up class words.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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