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Suspense writing KS2 – The Old Mill by Pie Corbett

What's included?

PDF featuring complete original story and activity ideas, plus Powerpoint version of story

Key Stage



Years 3-6


Are you looking for tension story ideas and suspense writing KS2 examples? This download contains an original tension writing example by literacy expert Pie Corbett. You’ll also find classroom activities to help pupils with their own writing.

By analysing the story, children will learn to build excitement and suspense through whispers and warnings.

Suspense writing KS2

The Old Mill story is sufficiently dramatic to hold the attention of most children and has a simple pattern that you can re-use to create new versions.

You could kickstart this unit of work by showing images of old forests, trees with twisted roots and dark shadows. Look at photos of mill ponds so that the children can visualise the story.

Next, show the title, ‘The Old Mill’, and ask pupils what they think will happen in the story. Then reveal the opening line:

‘Stealthily, Jo crept down the stairs, dodging the fourth step in case it creaked’

Which words suggest that Jo does not want anyone to catch her? What might she be going to do? Should she be going out?

More resources

Read more about building suspense in writing in KS2 or download our Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection.

Pie Corbett is an English educational trainer, writer, author and poet who has written over 200 books. Teachers love him for the way that he promotes creative approaches in the classroom. He is an experienced teacher, headteacher and Ofsted inspector. Follow him on Twitter at @PieCorbett.

Suspense writing KS2 classroom resources
Suspense writing KS2 – The Old Mill by Pie Corbett

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