CHILDREN’S author Hilary Robinson was one of the keynote speakers at the Northern History Forum at Leeds Trinity University.

Hilary, who has written more than 50 books for children, discussed how works set in the First World War can help youngsters develop skills in literacy while encouraging a passion for history. Hilary is a freelance producer for the BBC and the author of children’s books including The Christmas Truce, Flo of the Somme. and Peace Lily, which focuses on the role of nurses in the First World War.

Hilary said: "The four year centenary commemorations to mark the First World War has proved to be an ideal way of engaging children in a remarkable period in social history. Through our carefully crafted texts and poignant illustrations, children have come to learn a lot about the conflict and the affects both on families at home and on the lives of those that took part.

"The subject area provided many challenges, so tragic was the conflict, but our gentle approach has proved to be a popular way of ensuring that children understand not only what happened then but has also encouraged an interest in what happened next. Social history generally, imparted through the medium of storytelling is a powerful medium and one that I hope will encourage a lasting interest in the subject."

The Northern History Forum, which is hosted twice a year by Leeds Trinity University on behalf of the Historical Association, is aimed at primary and secondary teachers who are keen to keep their ideas for teaching History current and exciting. The theme of this year's event, which took place on Wednesday, November 22, was inspiring history in a time of change.

Beverley Forrest, Leeds Trinity University Associate Lecturer in Primary Education, and trustee of the Historical Association, said: "We’re delighted that Hilary could join us for this inspiring and interesting evening. The Northern History Forum is a popular event and is always well attended by teachers throughout the region who are keen to keep their ideas for teaching History current and exciting."

Education Consultant Michael Maddison discussed some of the challenges facing schools and history teachers during a time of change, and Alison Stephen, Director of Humanities at Abraham Moss Community School, Manchester discussed developing a sensitive approach to teaching about terrorism.

The next Northern History Forum will take place in March 2018.