Gladstone parents fight test stress with pancakes

STARTING the day with a second breakfast is grade three student Rhiarn Moore's ideal morning.

Unlike some of her fellow class mates, Rhiarn enjoys NAPLAN week because of the "peace and quiet" and the break from normal lessons.

Being given a snack before the standardised tests is the cream on top.

This year Kin Kora State School's P&C has forked out $2000 serving breakfast through the tuckshop for the three days of testing.

Today it was fruit and yoghurt. Tomorrow pancakes are on the menu.

BEST START: Kin Kora State School students Aisling Potts, 10, Rhiarn Moore, 8 and Tahlia Jade, 8 and Charley Girard, 8 love their free breakfast before sitting NAPLAN. On Tuesday they had bacon and eggs, Wednesday a fruit cup with yoghurt and today pancakes. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
BEST START: Kin Kora State School students Aisling Potts, 10, Rhiarn Moore, 8 and Tahlia Jade, 8 and Charley Girard, 8 love their free breakfast before sitting NAPLAN. On Tuesday they had bacon and eggs, Wednesday a fruit cup with yoghurt and today pancakes. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

The committee says the project speaks for itself with the children more focused and feeling less stressed about sitting the NAPLAN tests.

For mum Anna Cannon it has even created excitement at home with her year three son Aidyn saying he was looking forward to the tests and had been "smashing" his breakfast each morning.

"I think it's an excellent idea," Ms Cannon said.  

Some kids don't get breakfast before school, and this is a good way to prepare them for NAPLAN, she said.

When the state-wide NAPLAN test was introduced in 2008 it was met with controversy amid accusations teachers were grooming students to pass the test, rather than teaching.

But Kin Kora State School principal Jorgen Neilson said NAPLAN helped schools keep track of literacy and numeracy levels and ensuring there were no "hungry tummies" put the students on an even playing field.

"There's sometimes the perception of pressure or stress out there," Mr Neilson said.

"This time of year we get a lot parents, their ears prick up about the pressures of NAPLAN and about how it works.

"The reality is that NAPLAN is just about getting a good read on literacy and numeracy levels.

"We're trying to make sure the day starts off well and ensure our kids are fed and watered and ready for the day. It makes it a positive start…