At Thinking Factory, we begin working on the Oral component in March every PSLE year. Using the TREES approach, students are taught how to formulate answers to a variety of thematic SBC questions. The TREES approach is used in several schools but whatever approach a school chooses, the outcome is always the same.

Every year, my students and I compile the themes that they were tested on for their Preliminary Oral. This list is used to revise before the PSLE Oral, usually with me preparing SBC based on the most common themes and testing them individually. They will also prepare possible answers to the different questions and we will discuss them together.

Like last year, I organised the list, not by schools but by themes. As many of the themes were repetitive, what interested me the most were the questions that different schools formulated. Direct ones such as Is exercising good for you? or more thought-provoking ones such as How can we make someone in the class feel included? are great ways to get students thinking about possible ways to answer all question types.

Below are 2 questions taken from the 2023 Prelim List that we worked on during our Oral workshop this week. Questions have been answered using the TREES approach.

How do you reduce food wastage?


At home, my mother makes sure that my domestic helper cooks the correct amount of food. She sets a menu weekly that she must follow. My helper is aware of how much food is needed for each meal so there are no leftovers. When there are some leftovers, my helper and grandparents will have that for lunch the next day.

My mother also makes sure to check the expiry dates of all canned food at home regularly. If any canned food is about to expire, she will think of a recipe that includes the canned food. In this way, we don’t waste food because of its expiry date.

This year my mother and I have been discussing about food composting. By using special bins, we are able to compost the leftover vegetables or vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee powder, and tea leaves. As we have plants, the compost can be used to fertilize the plants. I feel that this is a good project to take on post PSLE, with my mother’s support.


In my opinion, food wastage is a serious problem in Singapore. I read a newspaper article that indicated that Singapore wasted 817 000 tons of food in 2021 and that is the equivalent of 56 000 double-decker buses! When we throw away food, it goes into our Semakau landfill which is Singapore’s last remaining landfill. If we do not recycle or reduce waste, this landfill will be filled by 2035.


Therefore, I suggest that everyone recycles and reduces food waste.

How can your school promote positive mental well-being?


Firstly, I think that my school should have a counselling room that is not in the General Office. It should be in a central location in the school where students can come in for a chat with the school counsellor whenever they want to. It should be accessible for every student and a welcoming place.

Secondly, the school should have a counsellor who is approachable and friendly. He or she should meet the students in a casual way first by being part of school activities or even have a meet and greet session with every class. This will allow someone who has mental health problems to not be afraid to visit the school counsellor when they are having problems. They will also feel that they can trust the school counsellor and open up and tell the counsellor their problems.

Thirdly, the school should also put up posters promoting positive mental health so that there is no stigma for someone who has mental health problems.


Recently, I watched a documentary about youths and mental health in Singapore. The documentary stated that there has been a sharp increase in depression among youths from 10 years old to 24 years old and that schools should be prepared to help students when they are facing mental health problems.


Therefore, my school can promote mental health in those ways.

List of 2023 Preliminary Oral themes

Student Values


Picture: Student leader award. Vote for school leaders.

  1. Do you think that this poster is important?
  2. Would you rather be a team leader or a team member?
  3. What is the most important value that a school leader should have?
  4. Do you think that a team leader is important?

Good Qualities

Picture: Nominating a classmate for an award because he/she has good values

  1. Do you think that this poster is effective?
  2. Who would nominate?
  3. What rewards do you think are suitable?

Being kind

Picture : A poster about harmony and being kind in school

  1. Do you want this poster in your classroom?
  2. What values are important to you?
  3. Who do you think is the kindest person in the world?

Picture: A poster about friends hanging out together with phrases such as ‘Treat others kindly’, ‘Encourage others’, ‘Help others’, ‘ Use Kind Words’.

  1. Do you think that this poster will encourage students to be kind?
  2. Tell me about a time that someone was kind to you. What did you learn from this?
  3. What do you think schools can do to encourage someone to be kind?
  4. What values do you usually demonstrate?
  5. Who is the kindest person in your life?

Picture : People showing kindness to each other, being patient, being independent, being honest.

  1. Do you think it is important to do what the people in the picture are doing?
  2. How does your school encourage positive values?
  3. What values do you display that are good?

Picture: A class using the computers for learning with a teacher in front of the class. Two students playing computer games on their computers.

  1. Do you think that the students playing computer games in the picture should be doing what they are doing?
  2. Do you enjoy your school lessons?
  3. What responsibilities do you show in class?

Picture: A poster on a noticeboard with ways of being kind to others printed on it: Values

  1. Do you think that this poster is helpful in encouraging students to uphold school values?
  2. Other than the poster, what are some other ways to encourage students to uphold school values?
  3. Who do you admire?

Picture : A class noticeboard with posters about cooperation, helping others, being honest, encouraging others.

  1. Do you think that the posters encourage students to display good values?
  2. Do you think that your school should teach students to have better values?
  3. In all your primary school years, what is the greatest value you have learnt?

Picture : A poster showing kindness

  1. Would this poster attract you?
  2. Do you think that this poster is effective in spreading kindness?
  3. Who is the kindest person in class?

Discounts & Conservation

Picture : Supermarket 50% off discount on bread and other necessities

  1. Does food wastage impact our lives?
  2. How do you reduce food wastage?
  3. Do you think that the discount would attract more people to buy food?
  4. Have you been to a supermarket?
  5. Would you ask your family to bring you to this supermarket sale?
  6. Do you prefer to go to the wet market or supermarket?
  7. Why do you think that saving is important?
  8. What stores do you often visit in your neighbourhood?
  9. What do you wish your neighbourhood had?
  10. Would you encourage your parents to buy discounted products?
  11. What do you look for in a product before buying it?

Picture : A poster about an upcycling workshop. Students attending it will learn to make pencil cases with plastic bottles. All pencil cases will be donated to an orphanage.

  1. Would you attend this workshop? What can you learn from attending this workshop?
  2. Do you like arts and crafts?
  3. How do you recycle?
  4. Do you think that reducing waste is important?

Picture : Poster about an event for water conservation

  1. Would you like to join this event?
  2. Does your neighbourhood organise events like these?
  3. Tell me about how you once saved water? How does your school save water?
  4. Do you think that saving water is important?

Health & Well- being & Family/ Community

Picture : Poster on self-care tips : listening to music, finding a hobby, going outdoors, talking to friends

  1. Which one of these self-care tips would you use to maintain a healthy well-being?
  2. Tell me about a time you were stressed?
  3. What does you school do to help students have good mental well-being?
  4. How do you cope with stress?
  5. How do your teachers care for you?

Picture : A room with a timetable on the wall and encouraging/motivational phrases.

  1. Do you follow a timetable?
  2. How do you motivate yourself before an examination?
  3. Do you think that it is important to set some time aside for rest?
  4. Are you like the boy in the picture?
  5. Do you think that time management is important?

Picture : Poster on exercising event

  1. Would you like to participate in this event?
  2. Why is exercising important?
  3. What are ways to stay healthy aside from exercising?
  4. What is your favourite activity during PE lesson?

Picture : Poster on a basketball tournament

  1. Would you join this tournament?
  2. Do you think that it is beneficial to do sports?
  3. Besides doing sports, what else can you do to stay healthy?

Picture : Poster on going on some family activities/ camping

  1. Would you join this event?
  2. Tell me about a time that you were unwell.
  3. Have you ever gone camping before?
  4. What do you do with your family during the school holidays?

Picture : A picture of a carnival to get closer to your neighbours

  1. Would you attend this carnival?
  2. Will you befriend a new student in your class?
  3. How does your school promote a sense of well-being?

Picture : Poster about a community centre holding sporting events (dodgeball, badminton, soccer)

  1. Would you attend this event?
  2. Tell me about a sport that you do.
  3. Do you think that exercising is important?

Picture : Poster about some tips on road safety

  1. Do you think that these tips are effective?
  2. What do you do about road safety if you live far from school?
  3. Tell me about a time when you saw someone not following the road safety rules.

Picture : A poster about an art exhibition featuring local artists. First 100 visitors will get a free colouring pencil and notebook set. Held from 1st – 31st December.

  1. Would you attend this event?
  2. What type of art materials do you usually use?

We hope that you found this post useful and we wish everyone all the best in this year’s PSLE Oral.

Check the other articles from this section

Don’t Miss Any Future Post!

2024 P6 English Tuition Timetable

Bukit Timah THU3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahTHU5 pm to 7 pm
Bukit TimahSAT1 pm to 3 pm
Bukit TimahSAT3 pm to 5 pm
HougangWED5 pm to 7 pm
HougangFRI3.30 pm to 5.30 pm
HougangSAT1.30 pm to 3.30 pm
Virtual branch*FRI5.30 pm to 7.30 pm
* Virtual branch = 100% online live tuition