GCSE Results 2023

ARTICLE UPDATE 26TH OCTOBER 2023: Newly published national school performance data has once again highlighted Penrice Academy as Cornwall’s top state school for a second successive year for both Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores. The full story can be read here.

Resilience Leads to Extraordinary Set of Results at Penrice Academy

There was heartfelt joy and happiness at Penrice Academy this morning where the Class of 2023 opened their result envelopes surrounded by family, friends and very proud teachers.

The positive relationships forged between students, teachers and parents over five years were visible throughout the morning with the school’s Assembly Hall full of congratulatory conversations, words of thanks and sincere best wishes.

Core Subjects

At Penrice, English, Maths and Science all scored over 80% Grade 4+, which is over 15% higher than national averages in 2019 (the most recent set of pre-covid results).

Focusing on Science in particular, over 70% of Penrice students secured Grade 7 or above in Biology, Chemistry and Physics – that is 30% higher than the national average in 2019.

The extraordinary results in these core subjects equips our students with the currency they need to move on to the next phase of their education and have every door still open to them.

Creative and Vocational Subjects

In the creative subjects, Art, Design and Photography, students achieved over 90% Grade 4+.

There was further cause for celebration in the vocational subjects where Penrice students achieved 100% pass rates in an impressive range of subjects including Business, Music, Drama, Health and Social Care, Hospitality and Catering, Child Development and Sports Science.

Of particular note in these vocational subjects, Sports Studies students achieved 79% Distinction* or Distinction grades, and over 50% of Business Studies and Music students achieved the top grades of Distinction* or Distinction.

Views from Penrice

We are absolutely delighted that our Class of 2023 have achieved beyond all of our expectations in this year’s fantastic GCSE results! Despite all the challenges and changes they have faced during their five years with us, their resilience and determination has really paid off with an extraordinary set of results!

The students and staff have worked exceptionally hard and should be enormously proud of the results achieved. We would also like to thank all of our parents and carers for the support they have given the school over the last five years. These results will give all of our students strong foundations for their next steps and we wish them all the very best in their next steps.

Key Metrics

Progress 8 score

Attainment 8 score

% of pupils achieving a grade 5 or above in GCSE English and maths

% of pupils
staying in Education or Employment

% of pupils entering the
English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

Average points score for the
English Baccalaureate (EBacc)


The full data set can be found on the UK government website below:

Student Spotlights

Thalia and Alfie (Head Students)


Thalia was overwhelmed by her results, securing almost all Grade 9s! She next heads to Callywith College to study A-Levels of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Geography.

She said:

“Every single teacher that I had was just phenomenal with their support. When telling my teachers my grades today, they were so so incredibly happy for me!
“I’d like to thank Mr Toms as our Head of Year. The Exam Success Sessions that he and Mr Thomas organised were really helpful! Also, my Tutor, Mr Dyke, made every morning as least stressful as possible which was really helpful – and he always put smiles on our faces!”

Alfie was also delighted with his results which have secured his place in Truro College. Alfie will begin studying A-Level Geography and Law, and a BTEC in Music Production at Truro College.

“I’m so proud with how I did in Maths; I’ve always struggled a lot with Maths and to see that I’ve done well in it is a massive achievement for me.”

As a keen and very talented musician who has regularly performed at Penrice events,

Alfie said:

“It is nice having a practical option [Music Production] in between two more written or academic subjects.”

Reflecting on Their Five-Year Journey
Both Thalia and Alfie reflected back on their five-year journey through Penrice and agreed that a Year 8 academic enrichment trip was a very special memory.

Thalia explained:

“The Stratford-upon-Avon English trip in Year 8 sticks out in our memories because it is the first time we had been out of county without family. It was amazing to be away with just friends (and teachers of course). We went to see a play and visited Shakespeare’s house! Even if you’re not that interested in English or History, it was fascinating to be in the exact spot where someone lived who has made such an imprint in modern day English lessons.”

Penrice Respect
The duo showed true respect for one another as they reflected on their year as Head students.

Thalia said:

“It’s been a great experience. I’ve been really grateful to be selected as Head Girl and working alongside Alfie has been fantastic. I’ve known that I can go to him with any questions and we have supported each other constantly.”

Alfie replied:

“I’ll say the same back; Thalia has been amazing! For example, Thalia is simply exceptional at writing speeches and doing planning behind the scenes, her organisational skills are incredible.”

Best of luck both of you, and thank you for representing Penrice so brilliantly as Head Students!

Vara – A Remarkable Story


Vara pictured on Year 11 Leavers’ Day

Vara joined Penrice during Year 10 having fled the war in Ukraine. Despite this extraordinary setback, she has excelled at Penrice and we are all very proud of her!
Vara said:

“I’m feeling like I’ve done really well with my results. When I came to England, I didn’t speak the language, but today I feel so proud of myself and what I have achieved.”

“I was really scared to go to school when I first arrived here. I thought people might make fun of me because I couldn’t speak the language, however I have actually made some amazing friends at Penrice and the school were so helpful at helping me improve my English knowledge.”

“I would like to say thank you to Mrs Thomas who really helped me to settle in at Penrice. And Mr Stokes in Maths also deserves a special mention as I achieved a Grade 8 in that subject!”

Vara next heads to Truro College to study a T-Level in Digital Production, Design and Development. Best of luck Vara – we will all miss you!

Lacey – Showing Grit and Determination Over 5 Years


Lacey was extremely delighted after achieving the highest mark possible in Engineering (a Level 2 Distinction). She was also over the moon after opening her envelope to see a Grade 8 in English Language.

Lacey said:

“I was terrified when opening my results envelope this morning! I thought I was going to fail but I was so surprised in a good way!

It’s been a long journey, I really struggled at times in school – I didn’t know where I fitted in, particularly in Year 9. But I reached out and asked for support in the school’s Student Family Centre (SFC) in Year 9 and I managed to get a hold of things. It was there that I was introduced to Mrs Sutcliffe and she has been there for me ever since, no matter what. She has genuinely been incredible! I don’t think I would’ve made it to where I am today without Mrs Sutcliffe’s help – she’s amazing!”

Lacey next heads to Callywith College to Psychology, English Literature & Language, and French. Good luck for the future Lacey, you’ve got this!!

More student stories to follow in the near future…

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