A YORK school has been looking back on the day England football manager Gareth Southgate dropped in.

Ahead of England's big match against Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, Andy Falconer, head of St Peter’s 8-13, recalls the day almost two years ago to the day that Gareth was the guest of honour at the school speech day.

"Gareth’s visit was an incredible experience for the children, staff and parents alike. He spent a long time at the end signing autographs and being in selfies, said Andy.

"His talk was so inspirational and full of the themes that he has now turned into his brilliant book, Anything is Possible. Developing a growth mindset is core to what we do here at school and Gareth referenced this time and again with personal experiences to illustrate it.

"He was so easy to talk to and the children loved asking him questions which he was happy to answer in his usual honest way."

Back in July 2019 the pair shared a cuppa ahead of the England manager handing out prizes for academic, sporting and artistic achievement as well as speaking to the hundreds of guests who attended the event.

Gareth used examples from his own life to illustrate the importance of the eight learning habits which pupils are encouraged to develop: collaboration, creativity, curiosity, embracing challenge, empathy, flexible thinking, initiative and perseverance.

He then showed how the England Football team used those same ways of thinking and approaching life to achieve their greatest successes. He told the audience: “When something goes wrong in life, it doesn’t finish you.”

Speaking about the final at the weekend, Andy said: "I’ll be watching the match at home with my family.

"Gareth’s growth mindset underpins the whole England team’s approach – they’re not afraid to try new things, realising that hard work and learning from our mistakes is what helps us to improve and get better, both individually and collectively as a team."