A novel Christmas themed idea introduced at Flint High School to encourage students to experience the joy of reading has proved a huge success.

Nicola Paulson, literary coordinator, created a reading Advent calendar for the countdown to Christmas. She used PowerPoint to make an interesting slide for each day, showing the front cover of a book together with a synopsis of the story and a few reviews.

Students were able to access the Advent calendar each day in English lessons during a discussion about the book with teachers.

A competition ran alongside the Advent calendar, giving students the opportunity to win any of the books that they would like to read after gaining an insight into the stories during lessons. The students were asked to give a reason as to why they would like to win the book and were able to enter for as many of the books as they wished.

After an incredible response with 320 entries in total, the winners selected are: Charlize Morris, Year 7, and Alyssa May Hough, Year 11, who both won Ghost of Gosswater personally signed by author Lucy Strange; Sam Sheady, Year 8, When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle; Charlotte Harding, Year 8, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy; Owen Conway, Year 7, Boy Everywhere by AM Dassu; Taylor Paige Perry, Year 9, The Box of Delights by John Masefield; and Tayler Jones, Year 11, Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Alyssa May said: "The reading Advent calendar has been a really great way of learning about books I might not have looked at otherwise.

"I thoroughly enjoyed talking about the books with my English teacher and that inspired me to want to read Ghost of Gosswater in full because I have a strong love and interest for the gothic and mystery genres.

"I wanted to know how this mystery would unfold as well as how this time period is portrayed. When I won the book I couldn't believe it, especially to have a signed copy too, I'm so pleased."

Sam said: "I really liked the start of the book, When the Sky Falls, which we read parts of with Mrs Paulson and that made me want to win it."

Charlotte was excited to win The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. She said: "This is my favourite book so far, and by far. It is such a lovely book to read, and the illustrations are so beautiful and unique."

Mrs Paulson is delighted with the response to the project. She said: "I was trying to think of how we could combine reading and Christmas, and this seemed like the perfect option.

"We have been thrilled with the positive responses from students, staff, parents and carers as well as some of the authors themselves who responded to our tweets on Twitter which was fantastic!

"It was so kind of Lucy Strange to send us signed book plates to place inside the books of the winners of her novel Ghost of Gosswater, that has made it even more special for them.

"We are committed to developing reading for pleasure at the school and this concept has worked extremely well in generating lots of interesting 'book talk' among students. I think we will definitely look to do this again."