What is the House of Commons? Find out with this short animation, an ideal starting point for introducing the House of Commons with key stage 3, 4 and A level students. Explore the history, role, work and membership of the Commons and how Government is held to account.

Time required: 3.5 minutes to view the film, plus time allocated for follow up work

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn:


  • A brief history of UK Parliament and how the House of Commons was established.
  • How Members of the House of Commons are elected.
  • Criteria to stand as a candidate.
  • What the House of Commons does.
  • What Government does and what the key roles are.
  • The role of MPs.
  • How Government is held to account through Prime Minister and Minister’s questions and select committees.


For further learning we recommend the following resources:


The House of Commons whiteboard resource
Online quiz and virtual tour of the House of Commons to find out who sits there and what role they play.
Time required: 15 minutes

MP for a Week game
Award winning game which allows students into the shoes of a backbench MP.  They will learn about all aspects of an MP’s role from debating to meeting constituents and about the pressures they face.
Time required: 35 minutes

An Introduction to Parliament whiteboard resource
Classroom guide to the House of Commons, House of Lords and monarch. It explores how the UK is governed and how Parliament works and presents the difference between Parliament and Government.

Practical information

To view these videos you must be able to use YouTube in your classroom.

Whiteboard resource featured in the further learning section is optimised for use on interactive whiteboards. It requires Flash Player 9 or above and Javascript to be enabled.

Releated teaching resources


What is the House of Lords? - video


An Introduction to Parliament KS3-5 video