Rydal Penrhos Pupils Honoured with DofE Gold Awards at Buckingham Palace
May 18, 2023

Rydal Penrhos Year 13 pupils Henry Battersby and Tristan Martin were rewarded for their many years of commitment and dedication to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as they were recently presented their Gold Awards at Buckingham Palace.

Rydal Penrhos is a Licenced Centre for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a prestigious program that offers children and young people the opportunity to challenge themselves, develop valuable skills, contribute to their communities and, perhaps most importantly, step out of their comfort zones, in turn fostering resilience and determination.

Through various activities such as volunteering, physical fitness, and expeditions, participants develop leadership skills, teamwork, and a sense of responsibility. These qualities are all highly valued at Rydal Penrhos, as the school aims to nurture well-rounded individuals who can thrive in any situation.

On Monday 15 May 2023, Year 13 pupils Henry and Tristan had the honour of traveling to Buckingham Palace to receive their Gold Awards. This remarkable achievement is a testament to their will and dedication, having persevered with the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards over many years, despite the challenges and disruptions of the Covid pandemic.


Dr Lewis, our The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme leader, said:

Henry and Tristan have both shown a great deal of commitment throughout their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, whether giving up their time during their twelve months of Volunteering, or whilst completing their Physical, Skills and Residential sections. These two young men also demonstrated unimpeachable resilience and infectious positivity throughout their qualifying Expedition, coping with some fairly arduous conditions of driving rain and blustery winds in the midst of the Rhinog Mountains.

A brief selection of comments from their external DofE assessors clearly demonstrate the exemplary calibre of these two pupils, and we congratulate them on their fantastic achievement:

Said of Henry:

  • ‘truly a team player, we love having him, an asset to the club, gaining a great reputation with members’
  • ‘always tries his best, willing to learn and take advice’
  • ‘a fine example to the younger members, applies himself very well to any task set, always achieves his aims through hard work and dedication’

Said of Tristan:

  • ‘showed professionalism and initiative, building an excellent rapport with the children under his tuition’
  • ‘committed and reliable’
  • ‘excellent progress, surpassing his own high standards, always manages to go above and beyond with tenacity and sheer talent’


These comments are a testament to Henry and Tristan, who have consistently achieved success throughout their time at Rydal Penrhos.

Henry has married academic success – achieving four A*s, two 9s, one 8 and two Bs in his GCSEs, alongside top grades in his Engineering and Additional Maths qualifications – with a flourishing career on the rugby pitch. His vital contributions to the school’s team recently earned him Full Colours for Rugby at the Senior Colours Awards, a prestigious achievement.

Meanwhile, Tristan has given similarly excellent performances on the theatre stage. His captivating performance in the November production of ‘Under Milk Wood’ enthralled audiences and showcased real talent. This was just one of several highlights in a successful final year at Rydal Penrhos for the Upper Sixth pupil, who has been an exemplary ambassador and example to his peers as Deputy Head Boy.

No doubt receiving the DofE Gold Award will hold a special place in the memory, not least because Tristan was accompanied to the palace as his father, Jon, who never had the opportunity to visit himself when he achieved his own Gold Award during his school days. A special father-son moment!

Congratulations to Henry and Tristan for their outstanding success in receiving the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards, and for representing Rydal Penrhos with distinction. And, of course, good luck to them in their summer exams!