PE Insights Episode 16: Sam Moinet – Checking in with your mental health and wellbeing

In this episode, founder of Student Breakthrough, Sam Moinet, talks about education and mental health. He discusses his own journey from struggles to breakthroughs before emphasising the profound impact of building strong children to prevent later issues. He maintains that, through empathy, compassion, and practical tools, teachers can foster resilience in students and themselves.

Building Student Breakthrough

Sam reflects on the dynamic evolution of Student Breakthrough, emphasising the challenges and growth experienced since its inception. Engaging with students one-on-one initially, the business expanded its horizons to include training teachers to address mental health concerns. With five years under its belt, Student Breakthrough has grown into a global venture, working with schools not only in the UK but also in China, Cuba, Spain, and Portugal. Sam emphasises the importance of constantly testing and tweaking strategies, aligning with Richard Branson’s philosophy of saying “yes” to new opportunities. The business aims to foster mental health improvements globally, particularly in Asian cultures.

From Reluctant Teacher to Transformative Coach

Sam recalls on his early ambition to become a soldier and the unexpected twist caused by a Crohn’s disease diagnosis. Despite initial resistance, he became a history teacher. However, the struggles with anxiety unfolded, ultimately resulting in a transformative coaching session in 2015. The experience led to a newfound understanding of the importance of expressing emotions and paved the way for the birth of Student Breakthrough. Sam shares the pivotal moment of leaving formal classroom teaching in pursuit of a bold coaching venture. With a lack of business skills, there were initial struggles and financial hardships. However, the foundation for Student Breakthrough emerged, bringing mental health into focus.

The Global Reach of Student Breakthrough and the Educators Coaching Academy

The story progresses with Student Breakthrough evolving into a global force, impacting schools not only in the UK but internationally. Sam’s commitment to continuous improvement is emphasised through diverse initiatives, including podcasts, online courses, and teacher training. The mission expands to Asian cultures, underlining the universal need for mental health support in education. In 2021, a North London school sought coaching training for its staff, so Sam created a pilot coaching scheme, leading to the birth of the Educators Coaching Academy. The academy’s impact also extends across multiple countries.

Movement, Physical Education and Mental Health

The importance of checking in with emotions, especially in physical education, is highlighted. Instead of labeling emotions as positive or negative, the focus is on acknowledging and accepting them. The MOVE approach encourages asking, “What do I need right now?” before physical activity, fostering self-awareness. Implementing regular check-ins in schools can create a culture of calm and ease. The discussion emphasises helping students set intentions, promoting a positive learning process over a fixation on outcomes. The approach recognises the value of embracing failure as a part of the learning experience in physical education.

Key Takeaway

Educators must prioritise their well-being, embrace vulnerability, and champion mental health support. True courage, as emphasised, lies in the strength to be vulnerable when facing challenges. This episode serves as a guide for teachers to nurture resilience, not only in their students but also within themselves.


The journey from personal adversity to creating Student Breakthrough is a testament to Sam’s resilience and commitment to improving mental health in education. The story underscores the power of transformation, emphasising the impact that expressing vulnerability can have on both teachers and students. As Student Breakthrough continues to evolve, its mission to enhance mental well-being in schools remains steadfast.

About the Guest

Today’s episode featured Sam Moinet, Sam qualified as a History teacher but now he is the founder of Student Breakthrough and the Educators Coaching Academy. His aim now is to revolutionise mental health support in schools.

You can connect with Sam directly via X at @SamBreakthrough

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

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