The End of Key Stage 1 and a Summer of Rest

Today is the last day of the school year and I can’t help but feel that this year has whizzed by! It seems only a matter of weeks since she was finishing Reception class, and yet today, Jenny completes her last day in Key Stage 1.

The end of Key Stage 1 - a mother's thoughts - red toy clock

The end of Key Stage 1

Dear Jenny,

As I sit here at home, waiting for your last day in Key Stage 1 to end, the tears begin to gather in my eyes.

I can’t decide exactly why. I think it’s a mixture of pride at your achievements and heartache as I see you growing up and edging ever further from my side, my protection.

I’m trying to picture what you might be doing right now – Laughing and giggling with your friends? Playing with the giant stuffed dog you were allowed to take in as an end-of-term treat? Maybe doing cartwheels on the grassy hill in your blue-checked summer dress?

I know you’ll be flashing that huge smile at everybody. You’re one of those rare, delightful people who knows how to smile with your whole face – sparkling eyes to dimpled cheeks!

And as I think of you chatting with your classmates, bursting with enthusiasm as you wave to answer a question, hastily scribbling down sentences in your English book, I realise how far you have come.

It feels like the end of a great race – that flood of emotion as we look back on the highs and lows of your first three years in school. The adrenalin is still pumping but relief is stealing over us – we’ve made it! YOU’VE made it!

The end of Key Stage 1 - an open letter to my daughter - child wearing sports day medals first place

Year 2 has been tough

Year 2 has been tough for you, sweetheart. I know that. School didn’t handle the SATs exams very well and put a lot of pressure on you. Coupled with the new medication that brought on anxiety, it made for a very difficult few months.

I heard the wobble in your voice when you tried to be strong. And I heard the tears of anguish when you could hold them back no longer. I saw the fear in your eyes when the overwhelm became too great, and I saw you crumble when it finally became too much.

But I also saw you pick yourself up.

Every morning, you walked through that school gate, determined to deal with whatever they threw at you. No matter the tears and fears of the night before, you awoke with new grit and drive to try again.

There are no words to describe the pride I have felt seeing this fighting spirit emerge in you.

This year in particular, you’ve had the odds stacked against you – so many hospital appointments stealing precious teaching time, the medication that causes anxiety to rise in your heart, and a teacher who is brash and dismissive.

But you work your socks off.

Every day you work your socks off!

You’re a grafter, little Jenny. You might not have the top grades, but you listen so carefully and try your best to put it into practise.

And hard work pays off, my darling. You will see…!

This afternoon, you can walk out of that key stage 1 building with your head held high.

The end of key stage 1 and the stress of SATs - child in navy blue dress standing on large tree stump

Summer holidays, here we come

And at 3.30 today, you will be free. Key Stage 1 will be a distant memory and the long, hazy summer holidays will stretch out before us.

For six weeks, we will turn off from school and you can spend some time recharging your batteries.

We’ll have lazy mornings and enjoy slowing the pace down. We’ll have time to look at the flowers on our walk and braid your hair just the way you like it.

I know you want to learn to use a skipping rope so that will be a top priority, and I’ve already got a list of holiday essentials to buy when we go on our 1-to-1 shopping trip together.

You’re lapping up The Chronicles of Narnia and I’m sure we’ll have finished Prince Caspian in the next few weeks. Those bedtime story sessions are one of the highlights of my day, and I love sharing my favourite books with you!

The end of key stage 1 - book wall paper with stag head

Onwards and upwards

These last few weeks, I’ve seen a change come over you. I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is, but it’s a new level of maturity that hasn’t been there before.

You’ve grown somehow.

I am so very proud of you, my little one. I hope you have a fun final day in key stage 1 and I’m counting down the hours until our holidays begin.

Lots of love,

Mummy xx


How has your little one find this last school year? What have you got planned for the summer holidays? Let me know in the comments below.


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An Open Letter To My Daughter At The End of Key Stage 1 - KS1 has been hard on you but I am so proud of you - you worked hard through your SATs even when you found it difficult


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  1. 6
    Debbie Denyer

    What a lovely post. My eldest cartwheels everywhere too! I’d forgotten about the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ll have to get it for my eldest to read as she’d love it.

    It sounds like Jenny has been very brave and resilient this year. I hope she enjoys next year and the challenges that it brings. #BlogCrush

  2. 8

    My eldest has also just finished key stage one and it does totally feel like a big milestone. He was fortunate that his school gets it just right when dealing with SATS so he found that whole process exciting if anything and certainly didn’t get any pressure. What a shame it isn’t that way everywhere! I also do see a growth in him this summer which is amazing and sad at the same time #blogcrush

  3. 10
    Daydreams of a mum

    Awwww Lucy you had me welling up with this . Your little girl sounds a resilient , brave girl. I hope she has a better year next year and a better teacher . Have the best summer holidays all of you #blogcrush

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