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Book status: The book for this planning sequence is currently reprinting or out of print and therefore not in stock at most booksellers. If you do not already own the book, we would recommend this planning sequence as an alternative:

Alternative sequence

A Home Learning Branch for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Reception

Author(s): Lynley Dodd

This is a Home Learning Branch for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.  These branches are designed to support home learners to access literature-based learning using a selection of books we love from the Literary Curriculum.  They include purposeful writing suggestions, links to the wider curriculum so that texts can be used across other subjects, key questions as well as spelling or phonics investigations.

A Planning Sequence is available for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.

Planning Sequence Overview:


Character description, writing in role, letters, leaflet

Main Outcome:

Alternative version narrative


Two+ weeks, 10+ sessions

Recommended Term:

Summer term 1

Overview and Outcomes:

In this ten-session sequence, which we suggest will take 3 weeks to cover, the children set up and create labels for an Animal Shelter. Some cats and dogs arrive and the children help settle them before reading Hairy Maclary. They play Match the Mutt, create a Character Splat, research and write some facts about cats and then devise a story not dissimilar to Hairy Maclary but this time about a group of cats who are frightened away by Riptail Paw – a dog version of Scarface Claw, the menace of a cat who appears in Hairy Maclary. 

Updated for the September 2021 Statutory EYFS Framework

Synopsis of Text:

Hairy Maclary goes off for a walk in town, followed by a few friends. All is uneventful until they meet Scarface Claw, the toughest tom in town, and run for home. The story is told by a brilliant, cumulative rhyming text and terrific pictures.


Dogs, pets, animals, cats

View Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy Planning Sequence
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