The preliminary English oral examination is the last ‘practice’ run before the real thing – the PSLE English Oral. While students familiarise themselves with certain common themes such as volunteering, water conservation, recycling and health, they should also learn to identify some common questions asked during Stimulus-Based Conversations.

Using the 2021 SA1 list of themes compiled by my students, we will explore a few common questions asked over the next few weeks leading up to the prelim oral.

Today, we will look at :

How can schools promote/encourage…?

In the theme of Honesty, given to ACS J and CHIJ St Nicholas & CHIJ Toa Payoh, they were asked :

What do you think schools should do to encourage more students to be honest?

In the theme of Gratitude given to Kong Hwa, they were asked :

How can the school promote gratitude?

In the theme of Water Safety given to North Spring & Radin Mas, students were asked :

How can the school encourage students to learn about water safety?

How do we answer this question type?

While the theme may vary, the ways chosen to encourage students would be similar. Following the TREES approach, students should give at least two Reasons (Ways)followed by Examples, an Experience, and an Opinion. Below is a model to the question type for the theme of Honesty.

Reason 1 & Example

Schools can put up posters around the school encouraging students, to be honest. Posters should be eye-catching and placed in areas where students would take notice of them such as in the school canteen or around the school library. If the posters are attractive, students will stop and read the messages on them and they will be motivated to be honest.

Reason 2 & Example

Schools can also organise talks on honesty during assembly. They should find speakers who can share their experiences and maybe even put up a play depicting honesty. Young students will enjoy watching a play and may understand the importance of being honest even more than just hearing someone talk about it.

Reason 3 & Example

Schools can also hold art or creative writing competitions based on the theme of honesty. Students can creatively show their feelings and opinions on why honesty is important and even win attractive prizes in the process. This will encourage students to reflect on why being honest is important.


Last year, my school celebrated World Kindness Day. A week before World Kindness Day, the P6 students put up posters around the school, reminding students of the date of World Kindness Day. Everyone felt excited that there would be special activities planned for everybody on that day.

On the day itself, my principal invited a theatre company called SRT to act out a skit on why kindness is important. It was really funny but it was also meaningful and we all understood the message.

In class, everyone had to write one kind thing that we appreciated about our partner and we gave the card to them and thanked them.

I felt that my school had done a great job promoting kindness and everyone was extra kind on that day. In fact, everyone was extra kind all week after that!


In my opinion, it is important for schools to encourage students to inculcate good moral values. Even though examinations and studying are important, schools should also spend time teaching students how to be better people. It would make Singapore a better society to live in.

Get ready for the PSLE!

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