This is what I give out during the first week to my seniors in visual art class - it's a student profile sheet that's meat to get to know the students, as well as get key info about their past experiences in art class.
It's a two-page profile that goes through key things such as:
-all key words that apply to them
-their favourite things
-their goal mark for the class
-what materials/trips they've done in their past art classes
The last question is the most important one - it asks them why they're here, and why they picked VISUAL ART out of all the classes offered.
I find this helps to really connect with the students, and get them talking about their lives, and about their art.
Also, it really helps me out with my planning for the year - to see what they've done before and what they're wanting to try this year.