TrullChurch of England VA Primary School

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10

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Katherine Rundell - author of 'Skysteppers'

If you choose this unit, then you will be learning how authors can use their real life experiences to help them create a fictional world for their stories. 


Firstly, can you answer this question:

If you were to go on an exciting and wild adventure, where would you go? Maybe your place is made up, or maybe it’s a real location, like the rooftops of Paris! Draw an outline of a suitcase and pack all of the things you might need in your new, wild place. What sort of dangers would you need to prepare for? ...


Now, read an extract from the book 'Skysteppers' by clicking on the link here.

  1. What strikes you about the first sentence of the story? What does it tell you about Matteo?

  2. What image do you get of Paris on page 2? Write down and words or phrases that stand out.

  3. How does Katherine Rundell contrast the setting of the rooftops, on page 5?


Next, click here to watch a video where Katherine Rundell will talk about how taking inspiration from real life exciting incidents can help you find adventure hidden in all sorts of unexpected places.


In the video, Katherine talks about taking inspiration from real life exciting incidents that put people at the very edge of themselves, in danger, relying on the ‘hidden parts’ of themselves.

  • Katherine talks about a man called Philippe Petit tight-roping between the two towers of Notre Dame in 1971. What sort of qualities do you think you need to be able to do something like this? What ‘hidden parts’ of yourself would you have to find? What are your ‘hidden parts’? Write them down!

  • Search for an image of Philippe Petit completing his stunt in 1971. Use the image to create a description of a dangerous, daring act, high up in the sky. How can you create the sense of danger and tension in your writing? Challenge yourself to write something quickly, in 15 minutes or less!?


Katherine talks about how we always forget to look up. She describes her own adventures on rooftops in Oxford, finding mystery items and imagining people who live above.

  • Take a moment during your day to look up. Maybe you can see lots of tall buildings, or perhaps just a few chimneys. Maybe you can see birds and trees. At nighttime, maybe you can see the moon and the stars! Draw a sketch of what you see when you look up.
  • Once you have created your sketch, populate your scene with new details from your imagination. For example, you could add a mystery item or object. Or you might want to add a character or two. Use your sky-scenes to inspire your ideas for an adventure, just like Katherine’s Skysteppers!



Choose a character from your favourite book. Write a story inspired by what might have happened to them before the story started . . . Remember, there are many adventures that we go on in life!