Paddy Higgins, 16, who lived in Winnersh, died after a night out on Sunday in Newquay. He was found early on Monday morning after falling on to Tolcarne beach from cliffs above.
Devastated friends have swamped a memorial page on a networking website with messages of grief and expressed support for his parents, John and Maria, and sisters Eve and Rebecca.
Paddy had just finished sitting his GCSEs at The Forest School in Robin Hood Lane.
Headteacher Keith Quine said: “Many teachers at The Forest have known Paddy since his birth for his father, John, is our long-serving subject leader in business studies.
“A gifted sportsman, and a hugely popular boy within his year group and with his teachers, Paddy had intended continuing his studies in the sixth form.
“Indeed, he had attended the induction day at school as recently as Monday, June 29.
“Paddy had one of the most engaging and likeable smiles in our entire community, an easy-going character of huge charm and it is a tragedy that a young man of such huge potential loses his life in such an accident.
“The thoughts of staff and students at the school are very much with his mother, father, his sisters and his many friends.”
Yesterday, friends flocked there to leave flowers, photographs and messages of support in memory of him.