Session 1: Who was Miriam Hyman and what happened on 7th July, 2005 (“7/7”)?

PSHE (Ages 11-14)
Session 1: Who was Miriam Hyman and what happened on 7th July, 2005 (“7/7”)?
Key Messages

Miriam Hyman was one of 52 people killed in the 7/7 bombings in London. This Session introduces her story: the people, places and passions that were important in her life. It then looks at what happened on 7/7, an indiscriminate act of violence against ordinary people: people like you and me.

  • Students will understand what happened on 7/7 and appreciate why it was catastrophic
  • Students will consider the impact of these events on the people affected
  • Students will list key elements of Miriam’s life
  • Students will describe the events of 7/7
  • Students will explain the possible personal impact of those events


  • Split the class into groups of around four.  Non-friendship groups are recommended.
  • Project MV PSHE Resource 1.1 Miriam's Story on your IWB.  Slide 1: Welcome students to the “time machine”.  They are now going through space and time to an unknown destination.  Slide 2: Explain that the class has just arrived in the past at a significant time in recent history. They should predict possible answers to “who, what, when, where, why” questions using the images on Slide 3. Emphasise that there is no right or wrong answer. MV PSHE Resource 1.2 Situation report table could be distributed to the groups to support this activity, feeding back to the class, or it could be done orally with the whole class.
  • Show Slides 4, 5 and 6.

Phase 1

  • Slide 7: Introduce Miriam and explain that students will get to know her by watching a video, and making notes.  Show Miriam’s Story video 1 of 4.  You may want to allow students to absorb it properly by showing the video once and then again while they make notes.  To support this activity MV PSHE Resource 1.3 Miriam's Story video notes (people, places, passions) (reproduced on Slide 8) could be distributed to the groups, feeding back to the class, or students could make notes in their books (using the same headings if you choose). SEN students could be asked to focus on just one aspect of Miriam’s life, for example places that were important to her. G&T students could be asked to give a fuller account of her personality.
  • Have a brief whole-class discussion of their impressions of Miriam and her life.
  • Replay the last 10 seconds of the film.  Explain that students are now going forward one day in time to find out what happens on 7th July 2005.
  • The following fact-finding activity can be organised in different ways.  The 13 slides of MV PSHE Resource 1.4 7-7 Information search are images on different aspects of 7/7.  The 9 questions in MV PSHE Resource 1.5 7-7 Info search questions can be answered, to different ability levels, by examining the content of the images.  One suggestion is to print out and display the images around the classroom and have the students look around in pairs, at their own pace.  The groups of four could be split into pairs and the questions divided between them, or each pair could be assigned a given number of questions.  The answers can be fed back so that everyone has answered all the questions.  This may depend on the amount of time available or the levels in class.  The important point is for students to have an understanding of the events of 7/7.
  • When talking about the number of people affected by the event, you may choose to discuss with students that as well as the 52 people who were killed, more than 700 were physically injured, and unknown numbers were affected mentally, emotionally and medically.
  • Extension question: How could Miriam be connected to these events?

Plenary 1

  • Play Miriam’s Story video 2 of 4. Feedback by discussing the question on the Slide 12 of MV PSHE Resource 1.1 Miriam's Story as a class (You are one of Miriam’s best friends.  How do you feel?).  Students could think-pair-share before feeding back their ideas to the whole class.

Phase 2 (Homework?)

  • Ask students to imagine that Miriam was their friend and write a diary describing their feelings the day after 7/7, a month later, and a year later. MV PSHE Resource 1.6 Diary writing frame can be used to support this.

Plenary 2

  • You may want to ask some students to share what they have written in their diaries, or discuss some of the wider issues in preparation for subsequent sessions.  If set as a homework task, the feedback and discussion can take place at the start of the following session.