Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

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Cranborne Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, S41 8PF

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Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

  1. About Us
  2. EYFS
  3. Reception
  4. Reception Core Books

Reception Core Books


At Newbold Church School we believe an important part of learning to read is to develop a love of books. Through sharing high quality books children develop a range of skills and become confident readers.

In Reception Class we have chosen a selection of books which we call our Core Books. Each book has been chosen because of the special qualities it has. Most are repetitive allowing children to quickly join in and retell the story in the absence of an adult. Repetition is really important so we ensure we regularly read these stories to the children and they are always available for them to access in our book corner. We also focus each half term on two or three of these books, linking a variety of opportunities and experiences to the chosen book. We have also chosen non-fiction books as part of our Core Book selection to introduce children to a variety of texts with different purposes. 

The children will no doubt love sharing these books with you at home too so we have added links to these books being read online in case you don't have access to these at home. 

Autumn term 1 core books 

Paper dolls 

This book is useful for starting conversations around memories, loss and the passing of time. It supports children to be imaginative and explore small world play and craft activities. It is a familier setting which encourages children to focus and recall events.

Possible themes covered: Rhyming, ourselves, family relationships, building friendships, loss

New vocabulary may include: Paper dolls, Slippers, ceiling, hair slide, mother, bow, danced, jumped, dinosaur, clawed, roared, bus, farmyard, rooftop, slunk, den, crouched, snarled, floated, fierce crocodile, gnashed teeth, ladtbird, scissors,

Squash and a Squeeze

This book includes repeated refrains, rhythm and rhyme and new vocabulary. It allows for joining in, listening and focus and retelling the story in order.

Possible themes include: rhyming, rhythm in words, farm animals, size language

New vocabulary in the book include: jug, shelf, lady, grumble and grouse, squash, squeeze, wise, hen, curious, plan, laid, egg, fireside rug, flapped, poky, tiny, tickle, goat, chewed, trod, nibble, titchy, pecks, fleas, pig, raiding, larder, implore, teeny, cow, charged, jumped, tapped, jig, weeny, began, flew, shooed, shoved, huffed, puffed, enormous, gigantic

Autumn term 2 

Owl Babies

This book allows the children to ask questions, extend conversation and to use a repeated phrases (I want my Mummy). It also supports children to recall of simple stories, talk about families, different environments and the natural world. 

Possible themes covered during this story: Families, natural world, anxiety/worry, separating from parents

New vocabulary may include: Babies, Mummy, big, small, home, house, twigs, feathers, owl, nocturnal, talons, branch, ivy, brave, soft, silent, swooped.   



Weather Report (NF)

This books allows the children to discuss seasonal changes, ask questions, use observational ideas and understanding, relate what they have read to real life, look at different weathers and understand order and names of the days of the week.

Possible themes in the book include: seasons and seasonal changes, days of the week (maths) and weather types. 

New vocabulary includes: Weather, report, sunny, cloudy (overcast), rainy (showers), windy (blustery), foggy (misty), snowy, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 

Through discussion we will also look at the new words; seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Spring term 1 Core Books

The Gruffalo

This book includes repeated refrains, rhythm and rhyme and new vocabulary. It allows for listening and focus, joining in with the repeated refrain and retelling the story in order.

Possible themes include: rhyming, rhythm in words, animals and habitats

New vocabulary in the book includes: Mouse, stroll, deep, dark, woods, fox, little, underground, house, kind, lunch, Gruffalo, terrible tusks, claws, teeth, jaw, rocks, roasted, owl, treetop, tea, knobbly knees, turned-out toes, poisonous wart, nose, stream, snake, log pile, feast, tongue, prickles, scrambled, scariest, creature, afraid, hiss, hoot, astounding, rumble, crumble.

Three Little Pigs

This book is a traditional tale and has different characters and allows children to think about what happens next. It includes repeated phrases and enables children to develop their understanding of simple questions and develop conversation. 

Possible theme: traditional tales

New vocabulary in the book includes: House, wolf, pigs, little, build, straw, sticks, bricks, blow, down, chimney, pot, fair, trick, o’clock,

The life of a Little Cardboard Box (NF)

This books helps the children to develop their understanding that not all books are fiction, some are non-fiction or factual. This is the story of a cardboard box and all its many uses.

Possible theme include: Recycling, emotions,

New vocabulary in the book includes: folded, cardboard, flat, surrounded, odd and ends, excited, adventure, truck, nervous, delight, pulled, tipped, pushed, filled, store, empty, wondered, nursery, reused, crawled, curled, factory, recycling, sturdy, handy.

Spring term 2 Core Books

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This book supports children's listening and attention skills, helps them to recall the story and understand the life cycle of the butterfly (links with UTW and in-class caterpillar hatching).

Possible themes include: Life cycle of the butterfly, counting and healthy eating. 

New vocabulary in the books includes: Caterpillar, cocoon and chrysalis, butterfly, egg, leaf, hungry, tiny, big fat, beautiful, through, apple, pear, plums, strawberries, oranges, chocolate cake, ice cream, a pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, cherry pie, sausage, a cupcake, watermelon, stomach ache, days of the week, days, weeks, numbers

Handa’s Surprise

In this book we can look at African animals and different fruits. We will be developing their listening and attention skills, their recall of key aspects of the story and support discussion and questioning skills. 

Possible themes include: journeys, African animals, fruit

New vocabulary in the book includes: Banana, mango, guava, passion fruit, orange, pineapple, avocado, tangerines, Handa, Akeyo, elephant, zebra, antelope, ostrich, monkey, parrot, goat, basket, market delicious, surprised, delicious, soft, sweet-smelling, round, juicy, ripe, red, yellow, spiky, leaved, creamy, green, tangy, purple, Kenya, Africa, fruits, animals.

Summer term 1 Core Books

Jack and the Beanstalk

This book is a traditional tale and has different characters and allows children to predict what happens next in the story. We are looking for children to understand simple questions and develop their conversational skills. 

Possible themes include: traditional tales, life cycle of the bean (links to UTW), right and wrong and making the right decisions. 

New vocabulary in the book may include: Bean, beanstalk, Jack, cow, giant, castle, goose/hen, golden, harp, climb, chop, axe, steal


Summer term 2 Core Books

Martha maps it out

This core book develops children's understanding of the world around them, with clear links to geography. It allows children to read maps and look at scale as well as develop spatial reasoning. 

Possible theme: Where we live, journeys, natural world. 

New vocabulary may include: universe, solar system, Earth, sea, land, equator, continents, oceans, countries, city, street, walking, flats, Mercury, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, stars, Venus, Uranus, Pluto, moon,


Updated February 2024