PE Insights Episode 12: Andrew Milne – Meaningful Experiences in Physical Education


In this episode of PE Insights, inspiring PE teacher, Andrew Milne (Andy), shares his transformative journey from a small school in North London to shaping young minds in Illinois, USA. His narrative emphasises the critical role physical education played in his life and his commitment to making PE meaningful for his students. His insights provide a fresh perspective on the role of educators in shaping the lives of their students.

Discovering Success in the PE Space

Growing up in an academic environment, Andy found recognition and success in the PE space, paving the way for his journey to university. Despite early career aspirations in the business world, he returned to teaching, realising his passion for making a positive impact through physical education.

Teaching Philosophy: Shifting Perspectives in PE

Andy advocates for a paradigm shift in the approach to PE, moving away from a solely competitive mindset. His teaching philosophy centres on collaboration, cooperation, and the joy of movement, fostering an environment that goes beyond traditional notions of success in sports.

The American PE Landscape

Reflecting on the American education system, Andy notes the diverse approaches to PE across regions. He highlights the unique opportunity his students have with daily PE classes, contrasting it with the challenges faced by others due to time constraints and academic priorities.

Crafting Meaningful PE Experiences

Andy’s recent blog post details his mission to make PE meaningful for students, focusing on experiences that resonate beyond the classroom. He shares practical strategies, including allowing students to modify activities, emphasising positive language, and creating an inclusive environment. He emphasises the importance of reflection, urging educators to constantly evaluate their practices. He highlights the need to adapt to changing circumstances, especially in a dynamic educational setting.

Shifting Paradigms in Teaching Philosophy

Andy advocates for a paradigm shift in PE, moving away from a traditional, competitive mindset. He stresses the importance of collaboration and cooperation, highlighting the need for educators to work alongside students, valuing their input in crafting meaningful PE experiences.

Long-Term Commitment to Positive Movement

A key takeaway from Andy’s insights is the encouragement to “play the long game.” He underscores the importance of caring for students not only during their time in PE but also beyond, fostering lasting connections. Advocating for the value of PE and sport, Andy encourages educators to be proactive in promoting movement experiences in and outside the classroom.

Key messages for PE teachers

Key messages for PW teachers from this discussion include:
Play the long game with students and focus on developing connections over time
Reflect regularly on your teaching practice to improve
Involve students in planning lessons to make experiences more meaningful
Focus on collaboration, social aspects, and fun over competition
Advocate constantly for the benefits of physical education
Stay passionate about teaching PE and keep learning throughout your career


Andy’s journey, commitment, and ongoing dedication inspire educators to revaluate their teaching practices. His story serves as a testament to the transformative power of physical education in shaping not only academic success but also fostering lifelong well-being and positive movement experiences. His call to educators to stay connected with students, advocate for PE, and prioritise joyful movement experiences serves as a powerful reminder of the long-lasting impact teachers can have on the lives of their students.

Listen and Connect

To listen to the full episode please follow these links to Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

If you would like to be a guest on the PE Insights Podcast please reach out by contacting us here or reach out to Nathan Walker via X at @NWalkerPE

You can connect with Andy directly via X at @carmelhealth

Get brand new resources, courses, research and insight delivered every week!