Session 1: What happened on 7th July, 2005 (“7/7”)?

History (Ages 11-14)
Session 1: What happened on 7th July, 2005 (“7/7”)?
Key Messages

7/7 was a significant event with a heavy loss of life and widespread injuries.  It was the first time that British citizens targeted their compatriots on their own soil without warning and completely randomly.  Those killed were people like you and me.  Introduce Miriam Hyman.

  • Understand what happened on 7/7
  • Begin to consider the consequences of 7/7
  • Summarise what they already know about 7/7
  • Find out who Miriam Hyman was
  • Start to record the consequences of 7/7

NB There is a lot to pack into this session.  You’ll need to keep it moving!


Do not tell the students what the session / module is about at this stage if possible, nor share the title / objectives etc.  We want to find out how much students can infer from the slides as an intriguing way into the topic.

Show MV History Resource 1.1 Presentation Slide 2: Memorial in Hyde Park.

What is it?  What is a memorial?  Who does it commemorate?  Slides 3 and 4 provide more clues if necessary.  Establish that it commemorates the victims of 7/7 but be vague.

Phase 1

Hand out blank pieces of A3 paper.  In pairs / small groups, students write "7/7 London Bombings" in the middle and write as much as they know around it (a "mind map").

Hand out copies of Resource 1.2 What happened on 7/7? and ask students to compare it with their sheet.

Plenary 1

Class discussion:  What didn’t they know?  Does the summary sheet miss out anything important?  This is the point at which to ensure that they have a reasonable understanding of what happened.

Suggested questions:

  • What do we know at this point in the investigation?
  • Did you learn anything surprising or unusual?
  • Is there anything on your 7/7 mind map that wasn’t mentioned in the summary?

To back up the summary sheet and subsequent discussion, you can choose a number of options to show at this stage selected from Resource 1.2 Presentation, Slides 5-12:

  • Images relating to 7/7
  • BBC map / timeline
  • News clips
  • Short documentary


Phase 2

Focus on those who were killed on 7/7.  Fifty-two died (plus the four bombers).  Use the BBC or Guardian links on Slide 13 to display the photographs of the victims.  This is an interactive page so if the students have access to computers in the session they could find out more about some of the victims themselves, or you could this as a class using your terminal and projector.  Note that the victims were generally young (in their twenties and thirties) and on their way to work, which is, of course, why the bombers chose that time – in order to maximise loss of life, injury, terror and commercial losses through the disruption of commercial life.

Find Miriam Hyman (on the number 30 Bus, Tavistock Square) amongst the victims and explain that Miriam’s story will form an important part of the module. 

Play video Miriam’s Story Part 1: Who was Miriam Hyman?

Play video Miriam’s Story part 2: What happened to Miriam on 7th July 2005?

(Each clip is 2 minutes.)

Brief discussion: Why was Miriam on the bus?  Where had she been going?  What do we know about Miriam – her life, the things she liked, her talents, her strong family ties and firm friendships, her art work and her values, such as inclusiveness?  Explain that we will return to Miriam in future sessions. 

[There are inaccuracies in most, if not all reportage, from Miriam’s age to her job and so on.  In discussing what we know about Miriam from the media you may wish to bring up the reliability of sources.]

Plenary 2: Conclusion

Reveal the main enquiry question: What happened after the 2005 London bombings?  Hold a brief discussion about the meaning of “consequences”.  Based on today’s session, what were the consequences of 7/7?  Each pupil will need a place to record consequences at the end of each session; the back of their books might be a good place or on a clean double page at the front.

Try to end the session by emphasising the fact that innocent people like them died that day, to emphasise why this matters.  There is a powerful clip via YouTube (Slide 13) that shows pictures of the fifty-two victims in turn in silence.  This is towards the end of an ITV new clip about the one year anniversary of the bombings.  Fast forward to 5.38 minutes.  It’s a bit fuzzy but very poignant and ends with Miriam.  Check how it looks on your board before showing it!  It lasts about one minute.


If you feel it is appropriate, students could ask parents / relatives / neighbours what they remember about 7/7 (note-taking optional).