The Mencia de Mendoza Lyceum is a co-educational Catholic grammar school in the south of Breda.
It was originally a girls’ school, founded in the late 1940s, as a separate part of the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Lyceum, then a boys’ school just on the outskirts of the city centre. In 1959 the school moved to its present building in a green residential area with bungalows in the south of the city.
Surrounded by fields, woodland, an area of outstanding natural beauty yet very much part of Breda the student population is mixed: about two thirds from the city and one third from the surrounding villages. The main building dates back to the late 1950s and is neo-classical in style. In the 1970s a new wing was added to accommodate the growing number of pupils.
The most recent extension dates back to 2004 and is a separate wing for all science-related subjects.
Because the school is not in the city centre the PE department is fortunate to have not only three gyms but also their own sports grounds.
The library-cum-multimedia centre is a place where students can read, study, work on individual projects, etc. There are separate areas where students can talk, discuss assignments, work in groups, etc. There is one computer science/ language laboratory next to the library, and another one which has language classrooms clustered around it.
Students who enrol for the regular curriculum can do so at two levels: a five-year-programme preparing for Schools for Higher Education, like Polytechnics, and a six-year-programme geared towards university education.
School leaving results for both streams are consistently high; close to 100% during the past 5 years. Detailed statistics can be found at www.ocenw.nl.
There is an active students’ council and the school is characterized by many extra-curricular activities like sports days, competitions, the junior speaking contest, in-school theatre and concerts, poetry-reading, contacts with –and visits to- schools in other countries, short trips to e.g. a museum or an exhibition somewhere in the country , or school trips abroad to important European cities like Paris, Barcelona, Athens, Brussels, Lille and London, activities to support Amnesty International, tournaments with other schools, etc.