Humphry Davy Prize Winners

The Humphry Davy Prize  began when Sir Humphry Davy left  money in his will to be invested to provide a prize for a student who is outstanding and proficient in the sciences. Although the prize ceased for a period of time it was renewed in 1988 and Penzance Town Council now administer the Prize Fund and make an award each year.
Mounts Bay Academy  students have won for five consecutive years, and we have maintained this high achievement by winning again this year!
Lilyjane, Mia and Zoe put together an impressive nomination piece. They talked about how they identified and overcame their different struggles in science GCSE subjects. Their inspirational stories show how true learning is based not so much on how well you are doing, but how you can turn a struggle into a success!
Well done Lilyjane, Mia and Zoe. Thank you for sharing your experiences so eloquently.
Report By Miss Weightman
The girls letter:

Humphry Davy Prize

Three hardworking students with a love for all things science.

All three of us are passionate about science, although we have struggled along the way, working collaboratively has really helped us to progress and improve on our journey through Mounts Bay. Our love for science begun early on and flourished at GCSE level when we all opted for triple science. We are all determined young women who look for challenge in everything we do. Although we all have different interests we all feel that science is where our future lies. Below we will talk about struggles through science and how we have overcome them.


When I came into Year 11 I realised that science was going to be part of my future. I began to discover on my journey through school that to really enhance and enjoy my learning I would have to be determined and overcome any setbacks that were thrown at me. I got my head down and focused as fully as I could on the thing I love most: science. There were obstacles along the way but with hard work and determination I’m nearly there. In my first set of mocks I was totally demoralised by my science grades. I worked extremely hard but only came out with a 4 in physics, a 5 in biology and a 6 in chemistry.  I thought I would never overcome this disappointment but by our January mocks I had worked my socks off and came out with a 7 in physics, an 8 in chemistry and a 9 in biology. After many months of doubt I now know I have what it takes to get the grades I want and I know no matter what I will be proud of my grades because I  will have truly done my best.


I have always loved science and I am very passionate about biology and chemistry but physics has always been a challenge for me. At first I would say that I held the perception that physics is very difficult and there was no way I would be able to understand it. However I gradually began to break through this barrier. I worked very hard prior to our first set of mocks so I was disappointed to only get a grade 4. This was a setback for me and knocked my confidence for a while. But then I realised I needed to get past this mental block because I want to achieve a good grade in the final exam. So I started to go over each physics topic breaking it up into smaller sections and started from the beginning. This meant that I soon realised that I did in fact understand physics for the most part and it was just in my head that I didn’t. I always work hard, despite any obstacles, and now I have the confidence that I can achieve the grades I want.


I have always had a passion for all three sciences especially biology and chemistry. What I find most interesting is piecing things together to make things make sense and use previous knowledge to help understand new and exciting things. When I entered Year 11, I knew that science was something I wanted to continue, but I knew that there would be set backs along the way and I needed to keep focus in order to succeed. Once all the content had been covered and the teacher said we could ‘start revising’ I was lost, where should I even start, I was completely and utterly lost. Overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do, I realised there was so much to know. With 11 subjects to manage, I knew it would be a struggle and mentally I didn’t think I could actually do it, and was on the verge of giving up. I knew I couldn’t give up so began revising slowly, in my first set of mocks I achieved 5s in all three sciences, which is recognised as a standard pass, but for me this wasn’t good enough. I put my head down and focussed, no distractions, if I wanted to do well I needed to put hard work in. Breaking up each science in to separate topics helped my to manage the huge amount I needed to. Going through PowerPoints in class and then re-covering it at home, helped me not only revise the content but have more confidence in myself that I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I am willing to put the effort in.

Hundreds of breakdowns later, we began to find out feet. We work together on areas we struggle with to overcome areas of difficulties because each of us has different strengths. We strongly believe that there is a huge place for women in science in today’s society and we together would like to be part of this and make a difference. We hope to inspire younger generations to overcome setbacks and to enhance their gifts in science.

Overall we would like to say thank you for reviewing our nomination and we are very honoured.

Mia, Lilyjane, Zoë

Humphry Davy Prize

5 April 2019