Kate Heap

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Author facts:
1. I am Canadian. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, I love wide open spaces and big skies. My mum is British so I was always intrigued by the UK. I came to Leeds to work as a teacher for a year in 2001 and am still here! Our family is always looking for adventure – whether it’s wild swimming, exploring a glacier or swinging on a high ropes course, we’re excited about where the world will take us next. Two of our favourite places are Banff National Park in Canada and the Scottish Highlands. The rugged mountains, sweeping forests and incredible views cause the rest of life to melt away.

2. I’m a twin mum – a wonderful boy/girl pair plus a fantastic big sister. It’s such a blessing to watch them grow up together so in tune with each other but as such different individuals. They truly were born with a best friend. In early 2019, we met Vashti Hardy, author of the Brightstorm trilogy. Later that year, we were thrilled to find she had dedicated the second book in the series, Darkwhispers, to Tom and Lucy – “real world Brightstorm twinnies.” You can find out more about this celebration of their twinness in my blog post:
Brightstorm and the Power of Boy/Girl Twins
hyperlink: https://scopeforimagination.co.uk/2019/11/03/brightstorm-and-the-power-of-boy-girl-twins/
Our Brightstorm Journey
Hyperlink: https://scopeforimagination.co.uk/2022/05/04/__trashed-2/

3. I am the definition of a bookworm – I always have at least one book on the go and a large stack waiting to be read. I’m so fortunate to be a regular children’s book reviewer for a number of publishers, sharing books on my blog Scope for Imagination. In 2022, I read and reviewed over 300 books!

4. My mum loves researching family history. Her greatest genealogical achievement was discovering we’re related to Isaac Newton. He’s my first cousin 10 times removed (he was first cousins with my 8x Great Grandfather). My dad is the spitting image of Isaac Newton and a skilled engineer so maybe something has trickled down through the generations.

5. Having been a Brownie, Guide and Pathfinder in Canada, I rejoined Girlguiding when my eldest daughter became a Brownie. It was like coming home to find traditions and activities so similar to what I remembered (but with a much more modern update!) Every Monday, I spend the evening as a Brownie and Guide leader (with my daughter who is now a Young Leader). It’s such a privilege to help girls discover more about themselves and grow into strong, resilient and very capable young women. We have so much fun doing outdoor activities including fires, archery and climbing, investigating STEM, cooking, creating and playing games. I am also Division Commissioner for West Leeds overseeing Girlguiding units in our area and supporting leaders.

More about Kate:
Kate Heap grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. She received her Bachelor of Education (elementary) with Great Distinction from the University of Regina and went on to teach for three years for Regina Public Schools.
In 2001, adventure called and she travelled to the UK to teach in Leeds. What was meant to be a year, soon turned into two and now with a husband, three children and two cats, she’s still here. Kate taught in Leeds schools for 17 years, taking on a number of roles including Leading Literacy Teacher for Leeds, Advanced Skills Teacher and Senior Leadership with responsibility for Assessment and English.
As a Primary English Consultant, Kate is now able to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for English more widely. She enjoys reviewing children’s literature for her blog, Scope for Imagination, working with authors and publishers to spread the word about their incredible books, and is passionate about helping teachers, parents and children find just the right ones for them. She writes a range of primary English resources including teacher’s guides for children’s books and resources for Pearson Education. In her Brilliant Publications series, Developing Reading Comprehension Skills, Kate has created classroom resources that support both children and teachers in their quest to achieve key objectives and prepare for assessment while fostering a love of literature.
As well as volunteering with Girlguiding, Kate is also a secondary school governor with responsibility for Literacy and Teaching & Learning.