I never had any serious issues throughout my years of studying in AES. I scored 195 for my PSLE, and was placed in the Express stream.
Throughout my entire 4 years, of course there were rowdy students, but I knew to not be influenced by them and steered clear of such company, hence had little to no issue with falling into bad habits. I believe part of this was due to my upbringing, where I was guided and occasionally lectured by my father since young (even as a toddler) as to why certain behaviours weren’t ideal. Of course, no child is the same, but I’m firm on the belief that parents cautioning their child and watching out for them from the start plays a crucial role. It ingrains the child with fundamental morals, and as an example, even now, I refrain from saying and having the mindset of “I”ll give you once I don’t want anymore” in regards to sharing food because I remember vividly my parents lecturing me when I said it as a toddler. So, parents, don’t magically assume as long as bad company is within a 9-feet radius that your child will be corrupted. Teach them well, and pray for the best for them to have taken these lessons to heart, and that hopefully they’re aware and mature enough to guide themselves well. No one guides as well as themselves, after all. Of course, with particularly stubborn and at-risk children, more forceful intervention may be needed.
Almost every teacher that taught me genuinely cared and were genuinely passionate about their work. There were some that didn’t teach what was needed as well as others, but none were nasty/rude. I had a sad episode in secondary 2, and wrote it in my class journal. Next thing I knew, I was called on my mobile phone by my English teacher who had read it, and wanted to make sure I was alright. I was fortunate enough to have teachers that were joyful, caring and able to connect with the students. The entire class was comfortable enough to occasionally joke around with them, and yet respected them enough to stay silent during lessons. I nearly fainted once during foot drill because of my monthly cycle and I had not eaten enough that day, and my teacher immediately rushed me to the side and gave me biscuits, all while angrily lecturing me to remember to “eat double the portion” during my cycle.
They did their best to encourage us to study hard, and were genuinely disappointed (some even cried) when we showed a lack of trying. I cannot say the same for the teachers now, since it has been several years since and there may have been a change in staff/environment, but this was my experience in AES, and it was a genuinely good time and I do not regret studying here in the slightest.
I have a lot more to say about the school culture/etc, but the post would be too long. I hope this small bit will help you parents or even to-be students make a more informed choice as to whether to choose AES.