Students at Holmleigh Park are allocated into one of four houses.
Our houses are named after four of the most important aircraft built by the Gloster Aircraft Company, which was based locally. The four planes played hugely important roles in keeping us safe during and after World War 2, and represent the pinnacle of what can be achieved through hard work.
Students can earn House Points for their contributions to academia, culture, sport or for embodying the school values. At the end of the year, there will be a large celebration for all students in the winning house.
Hurricane house is named after the Gloster Hurricane which built a total of 2,750 MkI and MkII Hawker Hurricanes between 1939 and 1941. The Gloster Hurricane served in the Battle of Britain, when the Company achieved a production rate of five aircraft per day.The Hurricane was one of the most outstanding fighters of WWII with many more victories than the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain in 1940.Hurricanes destroyed more enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain than did all the other air and ground defences combined.
Designed by the Hawker Aircraft Company in 1934 it first entered service in 1937. It provided the RAF with a fighter 160kph (100mph) faster than aircraft then in service; with an increased fire power of eight machine guns.When war was declared, on 3rd September 1939, about five-hundred Hurricanes were in service and several squadrons were sent to France. During the 1940 German Blitzkrieg through the Low Countries and France they fought a punishing rearguard action in which over 25% of all Fighter Command’s aircraft were destroyed.It was in a Hurricane of No.249 Squadron that Flt Lt J.B. Nicholson was awarded Fighter Command’s only Victoria Cross.
It was an aircraft that not only helped turn the tide of a war, but whose legacy can be found today in a wide range of modern life – from aviation to medicine. The attributes of understated strength are ones which should be reflected in Hurricane House. The designers showed incredible willpower and ambition when designing a plane that would be known in history as the understated fighter, we as Hurricane House will be known for the same tenacious dedication to our team.
Javelin House is named after the mighty Javelin aircraft; a twin-engine T tailed, delta wing subsonic night and all-weather aircraft, built by the Gloster Aircraft Company in response to the threat of jet powered strategic bombers with atomic weaponry after the Second World War. The Javelin was the first aircraft to be capable of all-weather fighting and boasted a special ‘delta wing’ design that allowed unprecedented manoeuvrability.
The Javelin aircraft In 1947 Gloster Aircraft responded to the call from the Air Ministry with its Javelin designs and prototypes. The craft fulfilled a specification for ‘a two seater, high performance night fighter capable of intercepting enemy aircraft at heights of 40,00 ft.’ The Javelin would also be capable of performing rapid ascents, attaining an altitude of 45,000 ft within 10 minutes of ignition, a minimum flight endurance of two hours and a take off distance of 1,500 yards.
The Javelin entered service with the RAF in 1956 and quickly superseded the Venom. It was succeeded in the interceptor role by the English Electric Lighting, a supersonic aircraft that was capable of more than double the Javelin’s top speed and served for much of its life alongside this craft. The Javelin was withdrawn from service in 1968 as modifications in design brought about more capable versions of the Lightning.
The restored Javelin Aircraft that is currently at the Jet Age Museum.
The Javelin is a very important craft in the history of aviation due to its design. Powered by two turbojets it delivered twice the power of a Meteor and three times that of a Venom. The delta wings allowed for levels of control and manoeuvrability previously unattainable. Pilots were unanimous of their praise for the handling qualities of the Javelin, stating that the Javelin “ is a beautiful aircraft to fly …indeed, flying a Javelin after the Venom is like driving a Bentley after an MG.”
I encourage students in Javelin House to adopt the jets characteristics by developing their skills and resilience so that they can learn ‘in all weathers’. They are encouraged to be fearless in their exploration of knowledge and approach life with a pioneering spirit.
We visited the Jet Age Museum in July 2020 to visit and find out about our House Emblems. It was a really interesting day, the team at the museum were welcoming and highly knowledgeable. I would highly recommend a visit when you are able.
Mrs Kingston, Head of Javelin House.
Meteor house is named after the Gloster Meteor which was built by the Gloster aircraft company in Brockworth between 1943 and 1954. The Gloster Meteor was the first British operational jet fighter and was used in the Second World War to defend against Buzz bombs. The Meteor was prevented from flying over enemy territory in case it was shot down and its secrets revealed to the enemy.
Frank Whittle began designing the jet engine that would power the Meteor in the 1930s, the technology involved in the jet engine meant that there were many set-backs in production and the project was nearly cancelled in the 1940s. However, the collaboration between Frank Whittle, de Havilland, Rover and Rolls-Royce led to the design and production of an innovative jet engine for the Meteor.
The meteor set an air speed record of 606 miles per hour in 1945 and it broke this record in 1946 with a speed of 616 miles per hour. The Gloster Meteor also broke the jet endurance record with a flight time of 12 hours and 3 minutes, as well as breaking the time-to-height climb record reaching 39,370 feet in 3 minutes and 7 seconds.
The designers and producers of the Meteor exhibited many of the characteristics that should be demonstrated by members of Meteor House. The designers showed innovation and creativity when designing a new type of engine. The producers displayed determination, resilience and co-operation to overcome adversity with the new designs to construct a record breaking machine.
Typhoon house is named after the Hawker Typhoon aircraft, built by the Gloster Aircraft Company. It was originally designed as a low-level interceptor. However, it then became used as a ground attack strike aircraft, and played a huge role in the Normandy landings, saving many lives.
As a low-level interceptor, the Typhoon was designed to replace the Hurricane and the Spitfire. However, due to some structural failures with the aircraft, production was postponed on the Typhoon until 1941, where the second prototype was flown. The Typhoon’s wings had great structural strength, had a large internal capacity for fuel tanks and could carry rockets, bombs and drop tanks, which made it an excellent long-range, ground attack aircraft.
The Typhoon contributed to the success of the Allied Landings in Normandy by knocking out enemy radar stations which would have provided advance warnings of the invasion, and continued to attack strategic locations throughout the D-Day landings.
Throughout the design and development of the Typhoon, we can see some incredible attributes from the aircraft and the people involved with the aircraft, which should be reflected in Typhoon House. The designers showed will power and adaptability when encountering difficulties with the first prototypes. Typhoon pilots also demonstrated courage at the end of the war, and team strength as the squadrons worked together to help the Allies in Normandy.