After introducing a host of innovative literacy initiatives to ignite a passion for reading this academic year, students at Flint High School recently had the opportunity to select a book of their choice as part of a national reading programme.

The Books Council of Wales' Schools Love Reading initiative will see all pupils aged three to 16 years in state schools in Wales receive a book of their own to keep. The programme is supported by the Welsh Government and its ambition is to inspire a lifelong love of reading and help everyone find the right book for them.

Nicola Paulson, literacy coordinator, planned the school's participation in the project. She said: "When we heard about the Schools Love Reading programme we were thrilled as it is a perfect way to round off all the literacy competitions and projects we have run over the past year.

Evie Ellis and Isabella Lally, Year 8, both chose Our Castle by the Sea, by Lucy Strange.

Evie Ellis and Isabella Lally, Year 8, both chose Our Castle by the Sea, by Lucy Strange.

"Each student received a token to the value of £7 which they exchanged for a book. We invited Caroline Johnson from Mold Bookshop, who has worked with us on several of our initiatives, to support us again with this project. She brought in a fantastic variety of books which we displayed in the drama studio and students were able to select their book during English lessons with teachers and our librarian on hand to assist if needed."

Read more: Vending machine of books to encourage reading at Flintshire school

Mrs Johnson said: "The enthusiasm of the children for the books has been wonderful to see. Many children do not have access to books, so the voucher scheme is an excellent way to give them a free book and to encourage reading."

As part of the school's literacy drive, the English department sourced a book vending machine a novel way of rewarding students for their achievements. Successful students are given a token by Mrs Paulson to access the machine and select a book of their choice.

Thomas Gordon, Year 8, decides to buy an extra book with his own money.

Thomas Gordon, Year 8, decides to buy an extra book with his own money.

Mrs Paulson added: "The vending machine has definitely sparked more 'book talk' amongst students since it was launched in March, and it has proved to be an exciting and successful way for us to reward readers. The books are given to students as a reward for great work across a variety of

reading related programmes, competitions and other initiatives linked to reading. Next year we want to explore how we might link rewards to reading in subjects other than English."

Helgard Krauss, chief executive, The Books Council of Wales, said: "Developing a habit of reading has lasting benefits and having access to books is so important for children and young people – so it's fantastic that Mold Bookshop and Flint High School have teamed up just in time for pupils to choose their summer reading!"