The MHMT considered it crucially important to examine empirically and evaluate the implementation and impact of Miriam’s Vision lesson plans and accompanying resources in actual classrooms. That was made possible by a grant from HM Treasury in 2016.
Miriam’s Vision is underpinned by two self-evident facts:
- Adversity, from the mundane to life-changing situations, will affect people of all ages. Miriam’s Vision shows what it means to act constructively in the face of adversity, through the example of Miriam’s story.
- A major contributory factor to the London bombings was fear between communities because of differences in race, religion and tradition. “People who do these attacks are trying to pull us apart when it really brings us together.” (Learner)
From Executive Summary of “Evaluation & Impact of Miriam’s Vision: A Response to the 2005 London Bombings”, March 2018
- Learners developed empathy for others. “So important to know about consequences for families, the injured … They all had a life … The loss of life is so crazy.” (Learner)
- “The five main messages included in all lesson plans provide … skills for life. Should be discussed in all schools.” (Teacher)
- Focus on consequences, or what happened after 7/7, was “very positive because there are outcomes based on evidence. Most resources focus on causes.” (Teacher)
- “Learners engaged throughout all the lessons in an emotional, social and intellectual learning experience.” (Teacher)
- “The Resource developed from providing knowledge to development of understanding and (consequently) … acting rationally to deal with fear of … non-constructive behaviour.” (Teacher)
- “The Resource shows coping mechanisms and ways to be positive about … negative situations. This will have a lasting impact on students.” (Teacher)
- “Awareness that emotional literacy should have a place in educational programmes, not least because of the connection with mental health.” (Teacher)
- The “duty on schools to prevent people being drawn into terrorism” is put into practice by open discussion about features that bind communities.
- “Promotes British values.” (Teacher)
From Conclusions & Suggested Next Steps
- Miriam's Vision is topical, yet sufficiently distant for some positive outcomes to have been implemented. For example, improvements have been made in emergency services procedures, and several memorial charities have been established.
- Miriam’s Vision fills a gap for current and important issues. “This has been an unusual opportunity because of what [learners] would hear on the news, and then come to school, explore attitudes and opinions of others … from other communities. It has been hugely rewarding.” (Teacher)
- “We must fit in more with what the students actually respond to.” (Head of History)
- “This is more important than old history … The Tudors doesn’t mean much in my life. This does.” (Learner)
- “The way the lessons are presented, so positive and empathetic is unique and makes [Miriam's Vision] stand out compared with many other resources.”
- “Cross-curricular learning should be embedded in even more modules … picking out themes.” (Dance teacher)
- “Working on a cross disciplinary basis is beneficial for students because they can make connections. We don’t get too many opportunities to collaborate.” (Art teacher)
The evidence is that Miriam’s Vision materials are effective in providing transferrable life skills, reasoned response to adversity, contextualising diversity through experiential learning, and engaging in narratives that impact positively on others. As such it retains its relevance.
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Summary of Outcomes
- Access free, unique, high quality resources
- Meet National Curriculum requirements and recommendations
- Promote life skills; resilience, empathy, contextualising diversity
- Promote positive, secular, a-political messages
- Provide a rational approach to controversial issues including violent extremism
- Access knowledge and understanding of the London bombings of 2005 and the consequences through powerful narratives
- Develop personal resilience
- Understand, through experiential learning, that cultural diversity is local response to universal needs
- Develop a rational, positive and constructive mind-set
- Build confidence and self-worth through activities that positively impact the real world
- Fulfil the “duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (The Prevent Strategy, 2011) in a constructive way
- Promote “fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs” (Prevent)
- Provide Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural development, an aspect that OFSTED inspects
- Benefit from having active, rational, resilient, constructive members
- Are more inclusive and mutually supportive
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