A taste of France has been brought to a Norfolk heritage landmark as youngsters combine their artistic and linguistic flair.

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Pupils from Northgate High School in Dereham have been given the chance to showcase their French skills by producing artwork for the school’s annual exhibition.

As part of the display, which is being held at Dereham Windmill, some 160 Year 7 students have produced a piece of artwork, each with a description of the work in French.

Five floors of the 19th-century listed building in Cherry Lane have been filled with imaginative creations, featuring animals, butterflies, the Eiffel Tower and flowers.

The exhibition was launched at Dereham Windmill on Wednesday, which also coincided with the presentation of a cheque for £400.

Northgate High School pupils raised the money for the recently-restored mill by taking part in a sponsored walk.

Headteacher Glyn Hambling said the school was privileged to support the venue.

He said: “We are happy to continue to support the windmill and pleased to be involved from the start. It is good for the students to have helped fund the renovation by taking part in a sponsored walk and now to have their work on display in the very building that money helped to restore.”

After many years of closure and two years of fundraising and restoration, the treasured landmark reopened to the public in September.

Its £75,000 facelift has revived it as an exhibition space for schools and community groups.

Vincent Everett, head of languages at Northgate High School, said it was great for people to see students can be creative while learning French.

He said: “For a French teacher to have parents come out and see the pupils’ work is really great. The students have put a lot of effort into their art and their French.

“It shows how French is for communication and that you can be creative, even when you are just starting.”

Dereham windmill chairman Brian Webb said: “Northgate holds this exhibition every year and we thought it was a wonderful idea to have it at the windmill this year.

“It’s a good opportunity to have the exhibition and to bring people into the mill. Even if you don’t speak French, it’s worth a visit.”

Northgate High School’s French exhibition will be at Dereham Windmill until March 25.

The windmill is open to members of the public from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission charges are £2.50 for adults, £2 for concessions and £1 for under 16s.

The windmill’s trustees need to raise another £100,000 to build a 23-seat café and toilet block next door. To find out how you can help, go to www.derehamwindmill.co.uk.

Have you brought a community facility back into life? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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